Kurdish-Arabic Code-Switching in Nali's Selected Poems

  • Luqman Abdulrahman Abdulla College of Fine Arts - Department of Cinema & Theater / Salahaddin University-Erbil
Keywords: Code-switching, Nali’s pomes, Gumperz


The present study aims at exploring Kurdish-Arabic code-switching in selected poems of Nali. Nali was a famous Kurdish classical poet. In his poems, Nali frequently swapped from Kurdish to Arabic. The researcher analyzes his poems from a sociolinguistic perspective. Therefore, the thrust of this paper is to clarify the role of this phenomenon in sociolinguistic, functional and structural aspects. The researcher has hypothesized that the sociolinguistic model of code-switching proposed by the American Linguist, Gumperz (1982) is applicable for the analysis of the phenomenon of code-switching in Nali’s poems. The study concluded that code-switching happens in multilingual society in conversation even in poems. The verses in which code-switching occurs are described as macaronic in literature. Another achievement is that macaronic poems of Nali were not the outcome of illiteracy or poor linguistic competence, on the contrary, they reflect his powerfulness in the use of his bilingualism and linguistic competence. Thus, code-switching is a positive point in his poems and adds to his rhetoric. 


Abdulla, I., A. (2015) “Kurdish-English Code-Switching in Facebook” (2015) Zanco Journal of Humanity Sciences, 19(6), pp. 161-176. Available at: https://zancojournals.su.edu.krd/index.php/JAHS/article/view/332 (Accessed: 9January2021).
Abrams, M. H. (2009) A glossary of literary terms. (9th ed.). Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning
Abubakir, N. (2013) Nali’s biography. Available at: https://archive.is/20131114181051/http://www.radionawxo.org/kurdi/index.php/baiografy/item/874-%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%84%DB%8C (Accessed: 5 January 2021).
Ahmed Sid, H. (2008) Code Variation among Algerian University Students. A case Study.
Unpublished PHD thesis. UMC.
Akmajian, A. Demers, R. Farmer, A. Harnish, R. (2001) Linguistics: An introduction to language and communication. (5th ed.) Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Baldick, C. (2001) The concise Oxford dictionary of literary terms: Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Brezjanovic-Shogren, Jelena (2011) Analysis of Code-Switching and Code-Mixing Among Bilingual Children: Two Case Studies of Serbian-English Language Interaction. Department of Anthropology and the Faculty of the Graduate School of Wichita. Kansas United States: State University.
Bullock, B., E. & Toribio, A., J. (2009) The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Code-switching. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Bussmann, H. (2006) Routledge Dictionary of Language and Linguistics. London: Routledge.
Callahan, L. (2004) Spanish/English Code Switching in: A Written Corpus. Amsterdam: John Benjamin
Crystal, D. (2008) A dictionary of linguistics and Phonetics. (6th ed.). Oxford: Blackwell.
Cuddon, J., A. (2013) A dictionary of literary terms and literary theory. (5th ed.). Sussex: Blackwell
Finch, G. (2000). Linguistic terms and concepts. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Gardner-Chloros, P. (2009) Code-Switching. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Gumperz , J. (1982). Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hitchins, K., (2010) NALÎ. Encyclopedia Iranica. Available at:
https://iranicaonline.org/articles/nali (Accessed: 9 February 2021).
Holmes, J. (2013). An introduction to sociolinguistics. (4th ed.) London: Routledge
Hudson, R. (1996). Sociolinguistics. (2nd ed.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kebeya, Hilda (2013). Inter- and Intra-Sentential Switching: Department of English & Linguistics. Nairobi. Kenya: Kattaya University. Available at:
http://www.ijhssnet.com/journals/Vol_3_No_5_(Accessed: 9 February 2021).
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.) Macaronic. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Available at: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/macaronic (Accessed: 4 February, 2021, from).
Mohammad, J., A., (2019) A Sociolinguistic Study of Code-switching in Khanqeeni Kurdish. Journal of University of Garmian. Available online at: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/b3be/f858605eac2884b5a09b6c72f7e56454c0de.pdf. (Accessed: 6 January 2021).
Mouton, D. (2011) Code-switching in early English. Berlin: Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.
Mudarris, A., M. (2017) The collection of Nali’s poems (Diwani Nali): Collected and analyzed by Mullah AbdulKareem Mudarris. Sennah: Kurdistan Publication
Nali’s biography. History of Kurdistan. Available at: http://historyofkurd.com/english/ (Accessed: 2 January 2021).
Ra’uf, M., M., (2017) The Motivations of Code-Switching of International Bilingual Students’ Conversations at the University Level. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328860248_The_Motivations_of_Code-Switching_of_International_Bilingual_Students'_Conversations_at_the_University_Level (accessed: 2 December 2020).
Richards, J. and Schmidt, R. (2002) Longman dictionary of language teaching and applied linguistics. (3rd ed.). New York: Longman.
Romaine, S. (2000) Language in Society: An Introduction to sociolinguistics. (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Scott, A., F. (1985). Current literary terms: A concise dictionary of their Origin and Use. Houndmills: Macmillan Press.
Sebba, M., Mahootian, S., & Jonsson, C. (2012) Language mixing and code-switching in writing: Approaches to mixed-language written discourse. London: Routledge.
Shakely, F (2002) Classical and modern Kurdish poetry. Available at: https://web.archive.org/web/20051217230133/http://www.kerkuk-kurdistan.com/kulturek.asp?ser=4&cep=3&nnimre=310 (Accessed: 2 February 2021).
Sihite, D., R (2016) Code Mixing and Code Switching Used By English. English Study Program Department of Language and Art Teacher Training and Education Faculty Jambi University
Spolsky, B. (2008) Sociolinguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Strazny, P. (2005) Encyclopedia of linguistics. (1st ed.). New York: Fitzroy Dearborn.
Trask, R., L. (2007) Language and Linguistics: The Key Concepts. (2nd Ed.). London: Routledge
Wardhaugh, R. & Fuller, J., M. (2015) An introduction to sociolinguistics. (17th ed.). Oxford : Blackwell
Wardhaugh, R. (2006) An introduction to sociolinguistics. (5th ed.). Oxford: Blackwell.
Young, V., A., Barrett, R., YoungRivera, Y., & Lovejoy, K., B., (2014) Code-Meshing, Code-Switching, and African American Literacy. Columbia University: Teachers College.
Zebari, I., A. (2014). Conversational Code-Switching between Arabic and Kurdish in Duhok City. Kurdistan: Duhok Polytechnic University. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324587893_Conversational_CodeSwitching_between_Arabic_and_Kurdish_in_Duhok_City (accessed: 7 January 2021).
How to Cite
Abdulla L. Kurdish-Arabic Code-Switching in Nali’s Selected Poems. JAHS [Internet]. 16Jun.2021 [cited 25Jul.2021];25(3):203 -217. Available from: https://zancojournals.su.edu.krd/index.php/JAHS/article/view/3962