Code Switching in Selected Malaysian Celebrities’ Instagram Posts

Authors: Sofia Hanis Rahman, Zuraidar Badaruddin (International Islamic University Malaysia)
Speakers: Sofia Hanis Rahman
Strand: Anthropological Linguistics
Session Type: General Session


With the advancement of technology nowadays, social media have become common platforms among Malaysian celebrities to communicate with their fans. Across these online platforms, a distinctive speech behaviour has been observed among these celebrities in which they employ language alternation or code-switching. Numerous studies have primarily drawn emphasis on spoken communication, resulting to scarcity in written communication. Hence, this study is aimed to investigate the use of code switching among five Malaysian celebrities in their Instagram posts. An analysis was conducted to determine the types of code switching employed based Poplack’s (1980) categorization. The frequency was also calculated in order to look for preferences across genders. The results indicated that Malaysian female celebrities employed all the different types of code-switching as compared to the male celebrities. The differences in using code switching between female and male celebrities illustrated the gender preferences to accommodate the communicative strategies in their written communication.

Keywords: Code-switching, Malaysian celebrities, Instagram posts