The Patterns of Language Mixing in Print Adverts


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A Case of Commercial Banks and Mobile Telecommunications Firms in Kenya

Code-mixing is a conventional lexical phenomenon in communities of high heterogeneity and Kenya is no exception to this.

English, Swahili and vernacular dialects are mixed in most of the commercial adverts in the corporate sector of the Kenyan economy.

As code-mixing becomes an idiosyncratic trend in Kenyan corporate sector, this study sought to determine the patterns of language mixing in information-loaded and outcome-driven commercial print advertisements of commercial banks and mobile telecommunications firms in Kenya.

The data was obtained from language-mixed print adverts from newspapers, brochures, posters, billboards and relevant advertising messages on the walls and buildings housing these firms.The study was conducted in Nairobi County.

Purposive sampling was used to select language–mixed print adverts only.

The data was analyzed using Lexical pragmatics theory.

The patterns of language mixing evidenced in the adverts included intra-utterance and inter-utterance language – mixing, shifting words to new uses, free and bound morpheme combinations and compounding of words.

The use of second person reflexive pronoun was also highly exploited giving rise to a defined pattern.

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