The language of love: A micro-macro analysis of code switching in English in selected Filipino romance novels


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Dept of English and Applied Linguistics

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This study primarily aims to determine the motivations for code switching in English in the lovers' dialogue of ten (10) Filipino romance novels. It also wants to see if network, or the characters' socio-economic backgrounds and histories, would affect these motivations. Lastly, the study attempts to find out which language, Filipino or English, is the preferred code for expressions of love. The data is gathered from 10 Precious Hearts Novels by two bestselling authors: Camilla and Sonia Francesca. To analyze the data, a new approach that combined the micro and the macro analyses is used. For the micro-analysis, Peter Auer's Sequential Approach was applied, while Li Wei's Network concept was employed to supplement this and represent the macro-analysis. The code switching occurrences, together with relevant information, are then isolated and put in tables. Each novel has a Character Profile table, which includes information regarding the characters' backgrounds, and a Code Switches table, which lists all the English code switches in the novels.

The analysis of data produced the following answers: first, there are a good number of motivations for code switching in the selected novels; however, the most observable is its capacity to highlight important parts of utterances that carry emotion, crucial revelations, and romantic content, among others. Code switching is not limited to specific settings or the expression of specific parts of speech or speech acts; rather it is employed as a contextualization cue that foregrounds what is important in a given interaction. As for network, its influence is not apparent in how code switching is used in the exchanges. What is noticeable is its influence in how much code switching is done, with the more well-off characters generally code switching more than their poorer counterparts. Lastly, although English seem to be used for a good number of instances that deal with the expression or confession of love, it cannot be said that it is the "preferred" language for it because, ultimately, it is the conversational context which determines if code switching will enhance the statements that need to be foregrounded does not necessarily mean, then, that the characters choose English because it expresses ardor better than Filipino, but because the particular exchange calls for a linguistic resource that has the ability to under the passionate utterances.



Other English Language and Literature | South and Southeast Asian Languages and Societies


Code switching (Linguistics)—Philippines; Romance fiction, Philippine

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