Code-switching in Chicano Theater – Power, Identity and Style in Three Plays by Cherríe Moraga
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- Published 2005
- Isbn 9173058378
- Type Paperback
- 284 pages
"I still say que los chiles no saben buenos aquí. I think it's the smog" (from the play Shadow of a Man by Cherríe Moraga)
Code-switching and code-mixing are common linguistic strategies used by bilinguals and multilinguals all over the world. This study explores functions of code-switching and code-mixing in three works by the Chicana playwright Cherríe Moraga. The findings reveal that the phenomenon of code-switching fulfils contextual and stylistic functions in the plays. For example, it is used to add emphasis, to introduce another level of meaning, to make and to break bonds, to include and to exclude. The study also demonstrates that code-switching and code-mixing can be used as a means of reflecting, constructing and reconstructing a third space Chicano identity. In addition, code-switching and code-mixing serve as creative responses to domination in that they can be used to resist, challenge and transform power relations. Such responses are evident in the plays examined here, elucidating aspects of identity construction and power relations in the present-day United States.