19 March 2009

Mixing in Blogs

Language mixing is a fascinating phenomenon; but it is often hard to obtain data. People code-mix and switch all the time, but if you put a microphone in front of them, they tend to seize up and become far more formal. Secretly recording people is one possibility, but it is highly unethical and it is not something I would ever do. In fact, obtaining genuine conversational data is always quite a challenge.

Blogs therefore offer a valuable insight into informal use of language. Of course, they are not the same as conversational data; but maybe the instances of language-mixing and switching might be similar.

I have previously (7 Feb 2009, 5 Feb 2009) discussed some of the features of the Random Curiosity blog, which often exhibits quite innovative text usage, such as cat smileys. Here is a more recent extract, from her blog of 9 March 2009, where she is commenting on how busy she is, especially with the shifts she is doing in an exhibition at UBD:
They want us to die kah work from 2-10pm..(*coughs although got shift) XD XD XD. Any whos~ Well....will be busy working, doing assignments and (the hell) presentation. Gila~sometimes they think we are super people ka?
It is interesting to see the use of the Malay question particle kah/ka (which, she assures me, are variants of the same thing), and also gila (meaning 'crazy').

I will need to investigate further, to see if kah is regularly incorporated into English blogs in Brunei.