On the Nature of the French Verbal Forms in the Code-Switching of Songhay, Bamanan and Fulah Speakers of French

On the Nature of the French Verbal Forms in the Code-Switching of Songhay, Bamanan and Fulah Speakers of French

Ibrahima ABDOULAYE1*, Mohamed MINKAILOU1

1Université des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines de Bamako.

Code-Switching is a process of bilingualism that involves the alternation of two languages in the course of a single conversation as a result of language contact phenomenon. This paper is about the conjugation of the verbal forms in the switches of bilingual Songhay-French, Bamanankan-French and Fulfulde-French speakers as pointed out in several studies by I. Abdoulaye (2013, 2016), M. Minkailou and I. Abdoulaye (2016, 2018), I. Abdoulaye and M. Minkailou (2017, 2019). The main objective of the present paper is to describe the verbal paradigm in the switches of these three different groups of francophone speakers according to the existing theories and models on Code-Switching and Code-Mixing constraints. Based on the Matrix Language Frame Model of C. Myers-Scotton (1993a, b), the paper aims at proposing and analysing a francophone alternative of grammatical constraint in code switching. The study uses secondary data collected from the research works cited above in which spontaneous and fresh conversations have been recorded, transcribed and translated into English in an oral corpus. The population of these three different investigations is heterogeneous consisting of bilingual Songhay, Bamanan and Fulah civil servants and university students. Examining the nature of the switches, the study purposely focuses on the intra-sentential code-switching, in which the participants alternate the two codes, inserting words from French into their respective native languages. Analysing the inflected forms of the French verbs embedded in Songhay, Bamanankan or Fulfulde codes, the study has revealed that all the switched verbs belong to the same verb form, the French past participle of the three verb groups (first, second and third). So, the study has concluded that this way of conjugating verbs in Code-Switching is typical to francophone second language leaners. This approach in Code-Switching that the authors are proposing as the Francophone Model of Switching Verbs is a result of linguistic transfer of L2 learners of French.

Keywords: code; code-switching; conjugation; francophone; Songhay; Bamanan, Bamanankan, Fulah, Fulfulde.

Free Full-text PDF

How to cite this article:
Ibrahima ABDOULAYE,Mohamed MINKAILOU. On the Nature of the French Verbal Forms in the Code-Switching of Songhay, Bamanan and Fulah Speakers of French. International Journal of Social Research, 2021; 5:55. DOI: 10.28933/ijsr-2021-01-2705


1. ABDOULAYE Ibrahima, 2013, “The nature and extent of code switching and code mixing of Songhay speakers of French,” Doctoral Dissertation, Uni-versity of Education, Winneba.
2. ABDOULAYE Ibrahima, 2016, “Study of code switching and code mixing of Songhay speakers of French”, Recherches Africaines, Numéro 16, Juin 2016.
3. ABDOULAYE Ibrahima and Mohamed MINKAI- LOU, 2019, “Understanding the Nature of Code-Switching and Code-Mixing of Songhay Speakers of French,” Global Journal of Human-Social Science: G Lin-guistics and Education, Volume 19, Issue 2, Ver-sion 1.0.
4. ABDOULAYE Ibrahima and Mohamed MINKAILOU, 2017, Understanding the phonological Processes at Work in Language Contact Situations: the Case of Songhay-French Code Switching, International Journal of English Language, Literature and Hu-manities, Volume 5, Issue 1.
5. ENNAMALAI Elayaperumal, 1989, “The language factor in code mixing, International Journal of So-ciology of Language”. 74, 47-54.
6. BOZTEPE Erman, 2005, “Issues in Code-Switching: Competing Theories and Models”. Teachers College, Colombia University Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics, North America, 3 (dec. 2005). Retrieved March 3rd 2011from http.//www.google.org.ml/
7. CEDERGREN Henrietta J. and David SANKOFF, 1974, “Variable rules: Performance as a statistical reflection of competence”, Language, p. 333-365.
8. LABOV William, 1971, Some principles of linguistic methodology. In Language in Society (p. 457).
9. MINKAILOU Mohamed and Ibrahima ABDOULAYE, 2016, “Investigation into Bamanankan-French code-switching among University Students in Bamako”, International Journal of English Lan-guage, Literature and Humanities, Volume IV, Issue VIII, 178-194.
10. MINKAILOU Mohamed and Ibrahima ABDOULAYE, 2018, “Investigating Fulfulde-French Code-Switching among Fulani University Students in Bamako, IJELLH, Volume 6, Issue 10, October 2018.
11. MINKAILOU Mohamed, 2015, “The lexical contribu-tion of English to Soŋay vocabulary Expansion,” Recherches Africaines, 15.
12. MINKAILOU Mohamed, 2017, Adapting Arabic Loanwords to Songhai, a Language of Northern Mali, Revue Yourou – Volume 3, numero varia.
13. MINKAILOU Mohamed, 2017, Attitudes towards the use of Soŋay as a language of education in Gao (Northern Mali), IJELLH – Volume 5, Issue 5.
14. MYERS-SCOTTON Carol, 1993, “Social Motiva-tions for codes-witching”, New York, Oxford Uni-versity Press.
15. MYERS-SCOTTON Carol (1993b). Duelling Languages: Grammatical structure in code- switching. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
16. MYERS-SCOTTON Carol (1993a). “Common and uncommon ground: Social and structural factors in codeswitching.”. Language in Society , 22, 475-503.
17. MYERS-SCOTTON Carol (1993a), Social moti- vations for codeswitching. Evidence from Afric Oxford: Clarendon Press.
18. MYERS-SCOTTON Carol, (1993c), Social motivations for codeswitching: Evidence from Africa. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
19. MYERS-SCOTTON Carol, 1998, Codes and Con-sequences: Choosing Linguistic Varieties. New York: Oxford University Press.
20. MYERS-SCOTTON Carol and Agnes BOLONYAI, 2001, “Calculating Speakers: Code Switching in a Rational Choice Model.” Language in Society 30, 1-28.
21. POPLACK Shana, 1980, Sometimes, I’ll start a sentence in Spanish y TERMINO ENESPAŇOL: toward a typology of code-switching, Linguistics 18(7-8): 581-618.
22. POPLACK Shana, 1981, A Formal Grammar for Code-Switching, Research on Language and Social Interaction 14(1): 3-46.
23. SKATTUM Ingse, 2009c, “French or National Languages as Means of Instruction? Reflections on French domination and possible future changes”. In B. B.-U. Garbo, & B. B.-U. Garbo (Ed.), Language and Power. Implications of Language for Peace and Development. (pp. 171-181). Dar es Salaam / Oxford / Ann Arbor: Mkuki na Nyota / ABC / University of Michigan Press. (Available on Google Books) Retrieved March 3rd 2011from http.//www.ikos/personer/vit/ingse/IMPLAN.pd
24. WEI Li (ed), 2000, The Bilingualism Reader, London, Routledge.
25. WOLFRAM Walt, 2006, Variation and Language: Overview. In K. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Languages and Linguistics II. Oxford: Elsevier, 333-40. Retrieved March 3rd 2011 from http://www.ncsu.edu/linguistics/docs/pdfs/walt…