Arabic Codes in Hebrew Texts: On the Typology of Literary Code-switching

in Journal of Jewish Languages
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In the late 1950s, Iraqi Jews were either forced or chose to leave Iraq for Israel. Most Iraqi Jewish authors found it impossible to continue writing in Arabic in Israel and so faced the literary challenge of switching to Hebrew. As bilinguals, Iraqi Jewish novelists have employed Arabic in some of their Hebrew literary works, including strategies of code-switching. Conversational code-switching is traditionally divided into three types: intersentential code-switching, intrasentential code-switching, and tag-switching. Although code-switching in literary texts has its distinct features, research on written code-switching generally follows the typology applied to conversational code-switching. This article focuses on the typology of code-switching in literary texts. It investigates Arabic codes used in three Hebrew novels written by Iraqi Jewish novelists. The article suggests three main types of literary code-switching in view of the mutual relationship between author, text, and reader: Hard-Access, Easy-Access, and Ambiguous Access code-switching.

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