An Analysis of Code Switching in The Namibian Parliament


The focus of this study was on code-switching that occurred in the Namibian Parliament as observed from the volumes of parliamentary Hansards from the year 2015 to 2017. This was a desktop study that employed a qualitative design to determine the patterns and reasons for code-switching in the Namibian Parliament. Content analysis was used to analyse data collected from the 10 volumes of printed parliamentary Hansards. Data was further interpreted using Myers-Scotton's Matrix Language Frame Model (MLF) and the Markedness Model (MM). Although English is the official language in Namibia, the parliamentarians still make use of other languages in the parliamentary discourse which leads to code switching. Code switching in Parliament can either facilitate or create a communication barrier among parliamentarians as some of the parliamentarians do not understand some of the languages that are used for code switching. The findings revealed that the Namibian parliamentarians used intra-sentential code switching more frequently compared to tag- and inter-sentential switching. The findings further indicated that parliamentarians often code-switched during interjections and interventions. Code switching was thus used as a rhetorical device in parliamentary discourse. Other reasons for code switching in Parliament are quoting, tone-softening, humour, real lexical need, expression of identity, to strengthen a request and untranslatability of words. The study further revealed that functions and reasons for code switching, can be used interchangeably. Moreover, the findings of the study showed that parliamentarians’ code switched because English does not have some of the words that the indigenous languages have, and in wanting to be precise the parliamentarians used culturally correct terms thereby negatively affecting effective communication in parliament. In addition, the findings revealed that translation makes code switching more effective in facilitating communication among the parliamentarians.

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IIPINGE, S (2021). An Analysis of Code Switching in The Namibian Parliament. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

IIPINGE, SUSSANA "An Analysis of Code Switching in The Namibian Parliament" Afribary. Afribary, 23 Apr. 2021, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.


IIPINGE, SUSSANA . "An Analysis of Code Switching in The Namibian Parliament". Afribary, Afribary, 23 Apr. 2021. Web. 20 Jul. 2024. < >.


IIPINGE, SUSSANA . "An Analysis of Code Switching in The Namibian Parliament" Afribary (2021). Accessed July 20, 2024.