Dr. Mohamed Minkailou

Université des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines de Bamako


Dr. Ibrahima Abdoulaye

Université des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines de Bamako



One important manifestation of language contact is code-switching. That involves the alternation of two languages in the course of a single conversation. At university in Bamako, alternation between French, the basic language of education, and Bamanankan, the lingua franca in Bamako is a commonplace linguistic practice. This study has been conducted at university in Bamako to determine the manifestations and typologies of code-switching and to check up the validity of Poplack’s (1980) Equivalence Constraint theory and Myers-Scotton’s (1993b) Matrix Language Frame Model. The data were collected through a series of nine recordings of university students. The results show that i) Bamanankan-French code-switching is a commonplace linguistic behavior among students; ii) the typologies are inter-sentential, intra-sentential (including intra-word) and tag-switches; iii) intra-sentential switches are the commonest typology and nouns are the most switched category. The study also shows that the past participle form of the French verbs is often integrated into Bamanankan to represent the base form of the verb. Last, the study equally supports both of Polack and Myers-Scotton’s theories.

Mots-clés / Keywords: code-switching, inter-sentential code-switching, intra-sentential code-switching, Equivalence Constraint, Matrix Language-Frame Model.

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