Dissertation
Dissertation > Language, writing > Linguistics > Applied Linguistics

A Study of Code-switching in Sons and Lovers

Author HeDongMei
Tutor XiaoLiJun
School Hunan University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Sons and Lovers code-switching literary language philosophical idea
CLC H08
Type Master's thesis
Year 2010
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This thesis takes Sons and Lovers, a literary work by D. H. Lawrence as thesubject. By making use of theoretic analytical method and by giving exemplifications,the author has conducted a code-switching analysis of the novel. Code-switching doneby the main characters in such aspects as number, types and orientation and purposeare first explored and analyzed. It is found out that the story takes place in a bilingualbackground and the whole Morel family members are bilinguals and they do codeswitchingoften. Code-switching employed by Mr. Morel contrasts sharply with thatdone by his wife and sons in number, type and turning orientation. The reason that Mr.Morel changes code is either to show his solidarity with working class or to presenthis divergence with his wife. As to the mother and sons, they bear great similarity intheir choices of code and they switch codes because of situations or mainly out ofhabits. Further, from literary creation and reception points’of view, the application oftwo languages and the code-switching between the two is regarded to be the novelist’sunique language means to convey his philosophical ideas. After analyzing the codeswitchingdone between husband and wife, mother and son, and father and son,readers come to feel that Lawrence has expressed his philosophical idea,“Antagonismbetween men and women”, by the contrast between the Standard English and the localdialect. Traditionally, the novel Sons and Lovers is interpreted as“Oedipus complex”and now the same perception may be done by using a different linguistic theory, codeswitching.Code-switching theory has shown its explanatory power of literary worksand interpreting Lawrence’s philosophical idea from the perspective of code-switchingopens a new window for the reader to understand and appreciate not only his novelSons and Lovers but also his other works.

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