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Code-switching in the lyrics of the pop songs in Mainland China

English Abstract

With the increasingly global economy and advanced communicative technology, transnational communication has taken English as its prior language. Against this background, English has become more well-received in countries where English was not so popular or widely used, especially in China. As one leader in the global economy, China places high value on English which is widespread in various areas like mass media and entertainment. Most recently, the phenomenon of English-Chinese code-switching in Mandopop lyrics has become more and more pervasive. Based on the types of code-switching assumed in the literature (Poplack, 1980; Romaine, 1995; W. Li, 2000, etc.) and the functions of codeswitching mainly identified by Chan (2009, 2012) such as discourse functions and symbolic functions, this study explores the patterns and functions of code-switching in Mandopop by a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data collected from the Best Songs of the Year in Mainland China from 2002 to 2012 ranked by the Music Radio of CNR (China National Radio). This investigation tries to bring forth some new findings regarding code-switching in pop songs based on the Mandopop data, which lay the groundwork of further research in this field in mainland China, and hopefully they will inform further study of CS in related areas such as other kinds of media discourse.

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Wang, Xiu Na


Faculty of Arts and Humanities


Department of English




Code switching (Linguistics) -- China

Popular music -- China


Chan Hok Shing Brian

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