Paper Example on Code-Mixing

Published: 2021-07-08
1730 words
7 pages
15 min to read
Sewanee University of the South
Type of paper: 
Term paper
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In all nations around the world, there is a growing tendency of inserting English words, expressions as well as phrases, as part of the local language. Arguably, this is part of the English language acceptance as the prevailing world language (Mair, 2003). Today, Indonesia is experiencing the aspect of code-switching, when using their Indonesian language (Muysken, 2000). English words, expressions as well as phrases are inserted into spoken dialogues and written expressions (Cahyani, 2015). The primary function of code-switching in Indonesia is to offer a solution to the intricacy of translating the English language into the Indonesian language (Setiawan, 2016). This is because it takes some words to successfully transfer certain concepts and meanings of the English words into the Indonesian language. The second function of Code-mixing in Indonesia is to help the society in its acculturation process (Setiawan, 2016). This is the process of culture change that occurs when persons from differing cultures meet and interact among themselves (Redfield, Linton, & Herskovits, 1936). The process is also characterized as the procedure of adopting various cultural traits as well as social patterns between different cultural groupings (Reisinger & Dimanche, 2009). Indonesia is a nation with numerous local cultural societies. The nation has also attracted hundreds of immigrants from other nations around the world. Due to the occasional interactions between Indonesians and English speakers in the nation, code mixing between the Bahasa Indonesia and English has emerged.

In Indonesia, there are three types of code-switching. The first is inter-sentential code-mixing that is seen at the sentence boundaries. Second, the intra-sentential code-mixing when there are is a shift in the middle of a sentence  (Zirker, 2007). In intra-sentential code-mixing, a sentence has no interruptions, hesitations or even pauses that indicate the shift. The last type is extra-sentential code-mixing, where there is an insertion of an English language tag into an utterance in the Indonesian language (Auer, 2013). The official language spoken in Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia. The nation has 300 ethnic groups who dialogue in approximately 700 native languages (Ananta, Arifin, Hasbullah, Handayani, & Pramono, 2015). Most Indonesians speak the Bahasa Indonesia as their primary lingua franca and their native language (Kirkpatrick, 2010). However, interestingly, code switching between Bahasa Indonesia and English is a normal phenomenon among most Indonesians today. As such, it is imperative to research why the Indonesians, despite having hundreds of languages, code mix the Bahasa Indonesia with the English language. The primary factor that promotes code switching in Indonesia is the need to maintain a structural cohesion (Stell & Yakpo, 2015). With the increased globalization, the Indonesians similar to other populace in other nations have found the need to adapt their interactions with the global society (Brown, 2006). This has been achieved through the insertion of English words, expressions as well as phrases into Bahasa Indonesia (Abdullah, 2017). In this research, code switching between Bahasa Indonesia and the English language will be analyzed based on the inter-sentential, intra-sentential and extra-sentential code-mixing.

Literature Review

The classifications of code switching evidenced in Indonesia can be supported by a variety of literature materials. Such publications portray how code switching occurs in sentences and their differences. In a publication authored by Potowski and Bolyanatz (2012), there are two primary types of code switching that have been used by multilingual societies like Indonesia in the past. According to the authors, intra-sentential occurs inside the boundaries of a single sentence (Potowski & Bolyanatz, 2012). On the other hand, the publication stated that inter-sentential code mix occurs when one sentence is entirely created developed in one language and then the preceding sentence in a different language (Potowski & Bolyanatz, 2012).

In a different publication authored by Muysken (2002), Intra-sentential code mixing can be categorized into three groups. The groups include the insertion of material, congruent lexicalization, as well as alternation between structures (Muysken, 2002). In the first category, a language speaker extemporaneously borrows a single lexical unit from a first language and then places it into a structure of the second language (Muysken, 2002). In such a case, the items that are prone to insertion varies in range from one noun to a combination of determiner noun. In the second category, for code switching to occur, the languages in discourse must share a grammatical structure (Muysken, 2002).

Additionally, such a structure should be in a state that can be lexically filled with elements from either language. As such, Muysken hypothesized that this classification of code mixing could only occur in two languages that are closely related and among those that share numerous cognate items (Muysken, 2002). However, in the last classification, there exists a true switch in a sentence, in terms of both grammars as well as a lexicon. Moreover, the occurrence of code mixing in the Indonesian Language can also be supported by the discussion of a publication that was authored by Montrul (2015).

According to Montrul (2015), the primary characteristic of heritage speakers, like the Indonesians, is that their code mixing can occur from a receptive ability to speak. Moreover, it can also occur among such multi lingual language groupings if the people have the ability to be fully fluent in speech. Montrul (2015) argued that the differences in the language proficiencies among people exposed to different languages are caused by the differences in the volume of exposure to heritage languages. Montrul (2015) argued that the structural patterns that are manifested in the grammars of sentences from the heritage speakers are similar to those of speakers who speak a different language.

The analysis of the publications authored by Grumperz (1982), Halim and Maroz (2014) and Pangalila (2011) can also be employed in explaining the functions of code switching in Bahasa Indonesia and English. According to the three publications, code mixing functions can be subdivided into ten classifications. In this case, code mixing can be employed in quotations, while citing speeches that have been made by other persons. Code switching can also be used in interjections as sentence fillers and in addressee specification, while inviting a different person in a conversation (Grumperz, 1982; Halim & Maroz, 2014; Pangalila, 2011). Also, code mixing is used in reiteration to emphasize as well as make a message clearer and in message qualification, to qualify the meaning of a message.

Grumperz (1982), Halim and Maroz (2014) and Pangalila (2011) also portrayed that code mixing can be employed for the cultural identity function to portray cultural superiority as well as to manifest the social status of speakers. Code switching can also be used to indicate or express emotions and for the principle of economy in speech through the easing of communication by use of shorter expressions. Additionally, code mixing is employed to complete lexical gaps in instances where there is the absence of equal translation (Grumperz, 1982; Halim & Maroz, 2014; Pangalila, 2011). Finally, code switching could be employed for personalization versus objectivization function. This is in distinguishing the language selection by speakers and in manifesting their level of involvement in a speech.


The study was performed by reviewing three different videos placed on YouTube. The videos were chosen because they were appropriate in portraying the aspects and functions of code mixing in the Bahasa Indonesia language. The videos were interview sessions performed on a politician, celebrity, and student. The first interview involved Mrs. Susu Putrianti, who was the Indonesian Minister of Marine. The second video was an interview with a popular musician in Indonesia. The last singer was an interview with a random university student from Indonesia.

Results and Discussion

The data collected from the three interviews were analyzed systematically to portray the types and functions of code switching in Indonesia. I expected to find the three forms of code switching in Bahasa Indonesia and English namely inter-sentential, intra-sentential as well as extra-sentential. I also expected to find the functions of code switching in the Bahasa Indonesia and English languages. These functions include the principle of economy, personalization versus objectivization, cultural identity, quotation, message qualification, interjection, indicating emotions, reiteration, addressee specification as well as availability (Grumperz, 1982; Halim & Maroz, 2014; Pangalila, 2011).

Types of Code Mixing from the Collected Data

Inter-Sentential Code Switching

From the study, there was no inter-sentential code mixing data type that could be obtained. This is because there was an absence in sentences that were entirely made in Bahasa Indonesia. Also, there were no statements that had been entirely made in English. Instead, the statements were made using the intra-sentential and extra-sentential code switching methods.

Intra-sentential Code Switching

In this case, I found some sentences that lacked any interruptions, hesitations or even pauses that indicate the shift in language. The examples of Intra-sentential data attained were as listed below.

Kita coba terus push our self to the limit.

We try always push our self to the limit

(we try to push our self to the limit) Celebrity)

Penting sih karena I have to keep living.

Important right because I have to keep living

(Its important because I have to keep living Student

Extra-sentential Code Switching

From the data collected from the three interview videos, I found insertions of an English language tag into utterances in the Indonesian language. The examples of extra-sentential data attained were as listed below.

Bu Mega, In the morning before pelantikan, I said Ibu if I .

Mrs. Mega in the morning inauguration, I said Mrs. If I

(Mrs. Mega. In the morning before the inauguration, I said Mrs. If I...) Politician (00:00-00:09)

Saya sangat menjunjung tinggi integritas, thats all I have.

I very uphold high integrity, that is all I have.

(I am strongly upholding integrity, thats all I have)

Kalau pendidikan? Saya tidak Punya, money? I dont have money.

If education I dont have, Money, I dont have money

(Education? I dont have. Money? I dont have money) Politician

Enggak pernah pengen settle setengah-setengah,

No never want settle half

(I never want to stay in the middle) Celebrity.

Kalau Kita Bisa yang the best, kenapa harus settle yang good enough gitu.

If we can think of the best, why must we settle of good enough right

(If I can be the best why should I be good enough) Celebrity)

Kalau merasa itu bakal lead you to the light, yaudah terusin aja.

I feel that can lead you to the light, so ahead

(If you feel, it can lead you to the light, keep going student.

Functions of code mixing in the Collected Data

There were ten examples of functions of code mixing in the Bahasa Indonesia and English Language. The functions are as listed below.

In quotations, code switching was employed to portray speeches that were done by other...

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