What is Code Mixing and Code Switching – A Review in the Novel ‘FURNACE OF FATE’


In this post, I assume you already got your hand on the novel, Furnace of Fate and hopefuully looking for code mixing and code switching apparent in the novel. Relax! Take a chill pill for you are in the right page. Before we continue, let us explore the term ‘Code mixing and Code Switching’.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, ‘A code may be a language or a variety or style of a language; the term codemixing emphasizes hybridization, and the term code-switching emphasizes movement from one language to another. Mixing and switching probably occur to some extent in the speech of all bilinguals, so that there is a sense in which a person capable of using two languages, A and B, has three systems available for use: A, B, and C (a range of hybrid forms that can be used with comparable bilinguals but not with monolingual speakers of A or B)’.


There are four major types of switching:

(1) Tag-switching, in which tags and certain set phrases in one language are inserted into an utterance otherwise in another, as when a Panjabi/English bilingual says: It’s a nice day, hana? (hai nā isn’t it).

(2) Intra-sentential switching, in which switches occur within a clause or sentence boundary, as when a Yoruba/English bilingual says: Won o arrest a single person (won o they did not).

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(3) Intersentential switching, in which a change of language occurs at a clause or sentence boundary, where each clause or sentence is in one language or the other, as when a Spanish/English bilingual says: Sometimes I’ll start a sentence in English y termino en español (and finish it in Spanish). This last may also occur as speakers take turns.

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(4) Intra-word switching, in which a change occurs within a word boundary, such as in shoppã (English shop with the Panjabi plural ending) or kuenjoy (English enjoy with the Swahili prefix ku, meaning ‘to’). (SOURCE: encyclopedia.com)


  • No wonder she was called Anyanwu by the oldest women in their town, who was a seer. (p. 12).
  • His father, Ogbodo Onyishi had ab inition seen Christianity as a threat (p.12).
  • You are the author of all knowledge, without you we are just tabulae-rased. (p.53).
  • “Eeh; you baga! You be mummy’s pet, abi na last born, I see say they don spoil you finish for house. Na my bulala go teach you bitter lesson if you no continue now, Shege! (p. 67).
  • What is it man? You be Witch? I beg, don’t spoil my show for me!… (p.76).
  • “Allah! If you talk to me like dat again, I go leave una here go. You dey tink say, I wan die? No be accident be dis? Danbruba!”… (p.90).
  • “If una finish talking grammar, all of una go come down, come push the motor out or una go sleep here!”… (p.90).
  • Heee! Na Comfort we go follow; hooyaa! Na Comfort wey dey reign oooh! Hooyaa! Na Comfort we go follow; hooyaa!”… (p.93).
  • “Hee! Man na so una life go be till when? If na me, driver, wey beg you now to buy me ordinary water, you go talk say money no dey! You don see woman wey fine like mamiwota, your body don dey shake. Know say, your help go just be, monkey dey work baboon dey chop!”… (p. 106).
  • “I beg, no vex. Na joke I dey joke ooh!” the driver pleaded amusingly” (p. 107).
  • “One chance! One Chance! We don dey move ooh! Enter; enter; enter!”.
  • “Please bros don’t swallow me oooh! I was only being concerned…”(p. 168).
  • “Bros, you guy is around now!” (198).
  • “Mummy! Mummy! Somebody don visit our house with fine motor!”… (p. 224).
  • “Motor, Na who that go be self?”… (p. 224).
  • “Na one fine woman; come see her now! Her car fine well well oooh!”… (p. 224).
  • “Na my children be that ooh! But, no be girl, girl. Na girl and boy them be “…(p.224).
  • “Na true you talk my sister! But, clothes no dey change gender wey person be. No be de one wey I see, I go carry dey cover them? Na de elder sister’s gowns wey no dey enter am again, na them be de clothes wey de younger brother dey wear”…
  • “Don mind them. Them dey feel shy say fine person come our house. Lorna! Junior! Abeg come and greet una anty”… (p. 224).
  • “No!, them go dirty your fine clothes!”… (p. 225).
  • “My name be Lorna and na Frank Junior be this,”… (p.225).
  • “You and your kindness, so na de same Angela wey I know before be this ba? No change at all after God don bless you finish. Abeg com in and sit don”…(p.225).
  • “Abeg forget that name. Na de thing wey enter my head that time n aim put me for this wahala wey you dey see me so. Abeg, just dey call me Elizabeth or Eliza; if you won cut am short. Na de name wey my papa and mama give me be that”…(226).
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UP Next: 15 vocabulary words in the novel ‘Furnace of Fate’, their meaning and examples. 


Title : The Furnace of Fate : A Novel for the Girl Child
Author : Livinus Kenechi Ngwu
Country : Nigeria
Publisher : Infinity Press Co., Nigeria
ISBN : 9786310350
Language : English
Publication Year : 2017

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