The Role of Metaphors in Code-switching: A Qualitative Analysis of Italian-Arabic Bilingual Speakers
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Copyright (c) 2023 Greta Mazzaggio, Yasmina Moussaid
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The use of figurative language is a pervasive aspect of daily communication across languages and cultures. This study investigates the use of metaphors by bilingual speakers who alternate between two languages on a daily basis and the potential role of these expressions in bilingual utterances. Specifically, we examine the spoken language of Italian-Arabic bilinguals and explore how metaphorical expressions in a bilingual context interact with code-switching, a prevalent linguistic phenomenon in bilingual contexts. Qualitative methods were employed, including interviews with Arabic-Italian bilinguals and a corpus of colloquial language. Our analysis focuses on identifying and analysing code-switching involving metaphorical expressions from both the perspectives of code-switching and metaphor. Our results reveal a higher frequency of intra-sentential forms of code-switching when metaphors are expressed. The majority of metaphors are expressed in Arabic, despite the prevalence of Italian in the statements. These findings aim at shedding light on the complex interplay between figurative language and bilingualism and contribute to our understanding of cross-linguistic communication.