The Function of Code-Switching in Selma Dabbagh’s Out of It

Bilal TawfiqHamamra, Salsabil Qararia


Bilingualism and biculturalism have a very immediate impact on the make-up of literary works of bilingual and bicultural authors with immediate linguistic traces of bilingual and bicultural mosaic of textual creation. Code-switching is a linguistic and cultural practice used by bilinguals in writing and speaking. This article examines the linguistic and cultural phenomenon of code-switching employed in Selma Dabbagh’s novel Out of It (2011). We argue that Dabbagh uses code-switching from English into Arabic so as to address the concerns of Palestinians and maintain her Palestinian belonging. At the very beginning, we explain what is meant by code-switching and briefly elucidate the reasons why bilingual authors use this technique. Thereafter, we shed light on the author’s background and expound the different types of code-switching she employs in Out of It. The upshot of this article clears up cultural and textual hybridity as the product of the application of code-switching.


Selma Dabbagh, Out of It, Palestinian culture, code-switching, cultural and textual hybridity, types and categories of code-switching

Full Text:



Ashcroft, B. et al. (2002). The Empire Writes Back. Theory and Practice in Post-

Colonial Literatures. London: Routledge.

Auer, P. (1995). The Pragmatics of Code-Switching: A Sequential Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bakhtin, M. (1981). The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: U of Texas.

Bhabha, H. (1994). The Location of Culture. London: Routledge.

British Council (2017): Selma Dabbagh; Fiction, Graphic, Novels and illustration. Retrieved from (accessed: 2 October 2017).

Crystal, D. (1987/1994). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dabbagh, S. [bqfpublishing]. (2012, July 9). Selma Dabbagh on CNN. Retrieved from (accessed: 17 October 2017).

Ervin- Tripp, S. M. (1964). An Analysis of the Interaction of Language, Topic and Listener. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Martin, H. (2005). Code-switching in US Ethnic Literature: Multiple Perspectives Presented Through Multiple Languages. Appalachian State University, 12(3), 403-415.

Monica, H. (1988).Codeswitching: Anthropological and sociolinguistic perspectives (Contributions to the Sociology of Language 48). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 19(3), 278.

Moore, L. (2015). [A Conversation with Selma Dabbagh].Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 51(3), 324-339.

Omole, J. (1998). Code-switching in Soyinka’s The Interpreters. In: Edmund L.

Epstein & Robert Kole (eds.),The Language of African Literature. Trenton: Africa World Press Inc, 57–72.

Pieterse, N. (2001). Hybridity, So What? The Anti-hybridity Backlash and the Riddles of Recognition. Theory, Culture & Society. 18(2-3), 3.

Simon, Sh. (2001). Cultural and Textual Hybridity. Across languages and cultures, 2(2), 217-226.

Skiba, R. (1997). Code Switching as a Countenance of Language Interference. The Internet TESL Journal, 3(10).



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.