This paper analyses the various reasons for code-mixing, and the domains where a mixed code is preferred by Tamil speakers. Sri Lanka is a multilingual country where code mixing is a communication strategy used by speakers of different indigenous languages. Mixing of Tamil and English is common speech behaviour that occurs in the discourse of educated bilinguals. There are various factors that influence the use of English in a mother tongue discourse. The research design combines quantitative and qualitative approaches. The data for this study was collected by means of a questionnaire. The participants were educated urban bilinguals in the Jaffna district. The data collected from the subjects’ responses were analyzed and the findings were derived.The bilinguals were required to self-report their awareness of the frequency and purposes of using code mixing in different situations in their day to day conversation. The results showed that the degree of code mixing depends on various factors such as amount of exposure to English, the medium of instruction in school and the frequency of language used in different domains, contexts and topics of discussion. This paper throws light on the fact that mixing Tamil and English facilitates communication and is performed for certain practical reasons.
Kiddinapillai Sanmuganathan, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka
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