My Sociolinguistics Research about Code Mixing

“Hey guys, in here I will share my research experience about code mixing of one programm television. I made this research to fulfill my research assignment in Sociolinguistics subject. So, please enjoy it to get some information about code mixing.”

Indonesian peoples are social beings who are always committed to a certain group of people. They live together and form a social community or society. They as members of society, interact with one another in many fields. One of the primary means used in the interaction is language.

A part of linguistics which studies about the relationship between society and language is called sociolinguistics. As Hudson (1996) says, he defines sociolinguistics as “the study of language in relation to society”. Adding by Holmes (2001) says “sociolinguists study the relationship between language and society”. It means that the peoples who study about the relationship between language and society are called as sociolinguists. Then, he said that “sociolinguistics is concerned with the relationship between language and the context in which it used”. It means that sociolinguistics occurs when there are relationship present between language and the context in which it used, because the way people talk is influenced by the social context in which they are talking, who can hear them, where they are talking, and how their feeling.

Globalization era has a big impact in making English, as an international language to communicate with people in foreign countries, become more well-liked. There is no doubt that most Indonesian people communicate with two or more languages in one utterance.

In Indonesia, people sometimes use more than one language to communicate. They are Indonesian as national language, regional language like Javanese, Sudanese, Maduranese, etc. (mother tongue) and also English as International language. Many Indonesians use English for many purposes such as business, job, relationship and education. For that reason, they want to master it.

Because of these habits, it will make people become bilingualism or multilingualism.  Fishman (1975) says “Bilingualism is using two languages or two language codes. In sociolinguistics term, bilingualism is using two languages by a person in his/her activities by turns”. Chaer and Agustina (2004) stated that “Multilingualism is a condition when people use more than two languages to interact with other people by turns”. It means that bilingualism or multilingualism focused in the interaction of peoples who are used two languages to interact one another in a conversation.

In bilingualism and multilingualism societies, people may produce certain codes. They produce some codes because they want to communicate with others smoothly and as a result, the communication can run well. According to Mesthrie (2000), he stated that code is a term for any variety of language, usually stressing on the linguistic rules that underpin the variety. There are two kinds of code, code mixing and code switching. Moreover, Suwito (1985) differentiates code switching from code mixing. He stated that “If utterance is switched from one language to another language supporting a distinctive function, it is called code switching. Otherwise, if an utterance, either phrase or clause, consists of a clause or phrase does not support a distinctive function, it is called code mixing”. In conclusion, it is clear that code mixing is a mixture of word, phrases, and clauses of several languages. It means that code mixing occurs when a speaker uses a certain language in his communication. However, he inserts some pieces of another language.

There are many reasons, why the peoples used code mixing in their daily activities. As Holmes stated there are three important social factors in code choice – participants (relation, status, ethnicity, etc), setting (time and place), and topic (work, sport, national events, etc). But, Holmes adding that there is other social factors that very influenced in code choice, there is the function or goal in interactions (greetings, thanks, and apologizes).

Not only by orally speaking is the best way language distributed or communication, one of the ways is by using electronic media. Television is the most valuable communication system at the moment, including the language delivery system devices). Most television programs impress many people in Indonesia. The phenomena of code mixing can be seen in the television program in Indonesia. As an example, we can see it in the magazine program on the television. One of magazine programs on television is Black in News. Black in News is the magazine program which present on ANTV every Monday at 10.30 pm. This program is powered by Djarum Black (the label of cigarette product). This program discussed about the variety of information as lifestyle, community, and so on. In this program, sometime the presenters use more than one language in present the program. The presenters realize that the audiences (television viewer) are not only from one environment, because of that the presenters used code mixing, they mix one code with the others. They used some English words and sentences when they speak in Bahasa.

The presenters put elements of one language into another language consistently in the same utterance. The phenomena of code mixing in the Black in News program has become an interesting topic to be discussed, especially in “Black Menthol Power Beat”, the one of important segment of Black in News program, because the presenter often used code mixing when he present the show. Those codes mixing may sometimes result in the problem of Indonesian speaking if it is a formal speaking language. A part from the fact whether this is right or wrong to do code mixing in speaking. Because of that, it is interesting for the researcher to know about the forms of it.

Based on the information above, this paper will discussed about code mixing that used in two episodes of “Black Menthol Power Beat”. The researcher will determines the varieties used or the forms of code mixing in the “Black Menthol Power Beat” program and the social function of it use.

Before we will continue to the discussion and finding this research, it will be better to know the introduction about Multilingualism, Bilingualism, and Code Mixing.

Multilingual refer to an individual speaker who uses two or more languages, a community of speaker in which two or more languages are used, or speaker of different languages.

People who are multilingual do not have the same abilities in the languages, as Sridhar (1986) says, “Multilingualism involving balanced, native like command of all the languages in the repertoires is rather uncommon. Typically, multilinguals have varying degrees of command of the different repertoires. The differences in competence in the various languages might be range from command of few lexical items, formulaic expressions such as greetings, and rudimentary conversational skills all the way to the excellent command of the grammar and vocabulary and specialized register and styles”.

In a multilingual situation, context determines language choice. In such situation, a speaker   who wants to be socially competent must find out who uses what, when and for what purpose the language used. As Sridhar also says, “multilinguals develop competence in each of the codes to extent that they need it and for the context in which each of the languages is used”. In other words, since the members of a multilingual community vary in the capacity of mastering the languages used in the community, they have to be able to set a condition where they can communicate effectively. This condition leads them to do code switching and code mixing.

Principally Indonesia is a country that is made up of plurality of ethnic groups, culture and languages. It is clear that particularly everybody is bilingual in this country, with the people speaking one mother tongue and Indonesian language. Trudgil (1974) argues that “the more heterogeneous a society is the more heterogeneous is its language.” This situation also happens in Indonesia, because Indonesia is a heterogeneous country. Indonesia has a lot of tribes, and each tribe has their own language beside Indonesian language as their national language and it uses as a tools or device to communicate with the other people from the other tribes. While Hamers and Blanc (1985) stated that “… bilingual someone who possesses a very high competence in a second language without necessarily being perceived as a native speaker….”

From the definition above we can conclude that bilingualism is the ability of using two languages to the other people. Many people in the word speak more than one language. It is naturally in daily life, because each people want to try increasing their knowledge through bilingualism.

There are three categories of bilingualism; two of them are mentioned in Affendras (1980). They are subtractive bilingualism and additive bilingualism. The other one is situational bilingualism, according to Laison and Amalley (1989).

Subtractive bilingualism means that people may lose their original language when they study the other language because of national education policies and social pressure. Those two thongs force them to put aside their first language or mother tongue to develop minimal competence in a national or prestigious international language.

Additive bilingualism has a means that the speaker does not lose his or her first language, even though they learn other languages. Affendras (1980) states that “is it implies that the speaker of higher prestige language are able to add one or more second language with a little or no concern or fear of losing their basic language.”

Situational bilingualism refers to people who learn a standard language which is different from the language of this area, but partially intelligible in it.

From the three categories above, we can conclude that Indonesia is additive bilingualism whereas Indonesian does not lose their first language even they learn other language.

According to Weinrich (1982) there are some factors that are taken into account when describing bilingualism. They are Compound bilingual, where two sets of language sign were associated with the same set of representational mediation processes this came about as a result of having learn a foreign language in the traditional situation (and via the intermediary of the first language) or through the individual growing up in an environment where two languages were spoken more or less interchangeably by the same people in the same situation. While, the other is Coordinate bilingual, where the two languages correspond to two independent meaning systems, this came about by learning two language in totally differentiated circumstances, one in home and the other outside, or where the second language was learnt in a totally cultural environment from first.

According to Wardhaugh (1986) Code mixing is a process in which two languages used together by conversant to the extent. Speaker does not change from one language to the others in the course of a single utterance. It means that they insert some pieces or elements of another language while he is basically using a certain language. However, Wardhaugh (1986) has different opinion dealing with the use of code mixing. He assumes that code mixing requires conversant to have a sophisticated knowledge of both languages and also to be actually aware of community norms. Those norms require that both languages used by the conversant can show their familiarity or solidarity. In order to make their partners understand the message conveyed easily, certain bilingual will use certain words to express their feelings.

Mixing may occur for a number of reasons, the most important of which can be summarized, as Hoffman (2003) describes as follows:

1. If an item has been acquired in one language but not yet in the other, the child may use the one device available to express a certain lexical or grammatical meaning.

2. If an item is temporarily unavailable, the subject is likely to resort to an equivalent from in other language.

3. If an item is more complex, or less salient, in one language, the young bilingual may make to use of the corresponding one from other.

4. If the child is exposed to mixed input(s) he will often respond with mixed production.

In addition, Redlinger and Park (1995) state that code mixing is the contribution of words or phrases or larger units. It means that they mix their word, phrase, clause, and sentences from native language to second language.

So this study concludes that code-mixing is a contribution of words or phrases or larger units. It means that they mix their words, phrases, clauses, and sentences from native language to second language. It is often unintentional and is often in word level. You probably say or hear someone saying something like “ga cuman event-event apa yang bakalan happening di weekend ini.”  (note that “event, happening and weekend” is the English word inserted in the Indonesian utterance).

In Wardhaugh (1986) shows that ‘equating in this instance code mixing with language, we can describe two kind of code-mixing’. They are situational code-mixing and conversational.

Situational code-mixing occurs when conversant use both languages together to the extent that they change from one language to the other in the course of a single utterance. What we observe is that one variety is used in a certain set of situations and another in an entirely different set. However the changeover from one to the other may be instantaneous or spontaneous related with the topic being discussed. In other hand, a study of Malay-English bilinguals (Abdullah, 1979), it was noted that the following factors were decisive in determining whether “foreign” elements appeared in one of the languages available: whether the personal repertoires of the interlocutors were equal or not; the setting or the locate, since formal or informal situations tend to encourage linguistic purism; the topic which determined whether certain subjects were better handled in one language rather than the other.

The following example from Abdullah shows this mix one language to another language in different situation. “Macam I tak tahu you nak playing bola sepak? You jemput your mom di shop baru awak kasih play bola sepak.

Finally, code mixing rarely occurs in a formal situation. If it occurs, it is because there is no suitable term in the language used so it is necessary to take the term from another language. The main characteristic of code mixing is it is used in the informal situation and relaxation.

Situational code mixing occurs when the language used change according to the situation in which the conversant find themselves, they speak one language in one situation and another language in different one.

While, Conversational code-mixing involve the deliberate mixing of two languages without an associated topic change. Plaff (1979) provides the following example of conversational code-mixing among Spanish – English bilinguals: No van a bring it up in the meeting. (They are not going to bring it up in the meeting), Estaba training para pelear (He was training to fight), Etc.

So, such conversational code-mixing is often used by bilinguals, primarily as a solidarity marker. A speaker who mixes codes in this way in conversation with a friend of acquaintance will almost certainly shift entirely to English when addressing a monolingual English speaking person or entirely Spanish origin. Conversational code mixing is usually used by the people to make the situation or condition lively.

Adding by Soewito (1983), he divides code mixing in two kinds. They are Inner code mixing shown, if the speaker inserts the elements of his own language into national language, the elements of dialect into his own language, or elements of varieties and style into his dialect. Code mixing and the elements of a regional language show that the speaker has a regional language in tuff, or want to show his regional language characteristic. And the other is outer code mixing, for example, the elements of Holland code switching inserted in Indonesian language. It shows that the speaker belonging to the old century, students and special man/women. In doing code mixing with the English language can give the impression that the speaker is a modern, educated and has good relationship in society. Code mixing with elements of Arabic impresses that the speaker Islamic, obedient, or a devout person.

Code mixing has some form; 1) word insertion (in fixation), 2) phrase insertion, 3) clause insertion, 4) expression/ idiom insertion, and 5) baster insertion (combining of original and foreign language).

Muysken (2000) explained more that code mixing is typically divided into three main types – insertion (word or phrase), alternation (clause) and congruent lexicalization (dialect)- and the most common occurrence of code mixing variants in society is insertional code mixing. Muysken in Daucher (2005) suggested that there are three main patterns of intra-sentential code mixing which may be found in bilingual speech community – insertion, alternation, and congruent lexicalization. In another hand, the types of code mixing are:

Insertion Code mixing. Insertion of material (lexical items or entire constituents) from one language into a structure of the other languages. Here is the ` examples: “jangan suka nge-judge gitu dong. orang kan beda-beda” (note that “judge” is the English word inserted in the Indonesian utterance).

Alternation Code mixingAlternation between structures from languages. Swahili-English by Poplack in Douchar (2005) examples: Why make Carol sentarse atrás pa’ que everybody has to move pa’ que se salga?  (Why make Carol sit in the back so that everybody has to move for her to get out?).

Congruent Lexicalization. Congruent lexicalization of material from different lexical inventories into a shared grammatical structure. Example by B. Van Den Bogaerde & A.E. Baker (2006) in Netherlands language: Gee mi een kiss (Give me a kiss).

Forms of Code Mixing:

  • Morphemes. According to O’grady, Dobrovolsky, and Katamba (1993) “Morpheme is the smallest unit of language that carries information about meaning and functions”.
  • Words. According to Kusumawardhani, Prabowo and Prastikawati, words can be divided into two categories or two basic classes: (1) function words or closed class words (2) Content words or open class word.
  • Phrase is a group of words doesn’t have subject or verb.
  • Clauses. According to Azar (1993:238) “clause is a group of words containing a subject and a verb”.

After know about the definitons above, we will discuss about the finding in this research.

This observation is about the code mixing that can be used while someone take a conversation with other people or while they just speak or convey something. In this case, Mc Joey as a Presenter in television program (Black Menthol Power Beat), he was mixing his language. He was conveying language, in Indonesian language and English language, in the two episodes of Black Menthol Power Beat.


Many purpose of code mixing, they are giving information, giving explanation, tease, hope and praise. So, to the clear problem , the researcher use table to be easy analysis of code mixing in Black Menthol Power Beat, like as under of table :

Follows are the video script  section from the target that was mixing Indonesian language:

“Alright, hey nice to see you all again, yes, kali ini bakal special banget karena kita bakal breakdown all the events selama bulan Maret, engga cuma event-event apa yang bakalan happening di weekend ini, karena mulai minggu depan kita bakalan preview nih. Alright first of all, mulai tanggal 14 di Immigrant Jakarta finally forbidden fruit is back again and is about back to back side, yang bakalan main nih adalah DJ Rockafella dan juga DJ Vicky dan DJ Ayu, DJ Dinda dan DJ Pulpy and all shows two mc will be shown and moving on to the next one on 17 Maret at DJ Club Bali, finally one of the armada DJ from the Canada will be coming here to Indonesia. The one and only DJ Max Graham and also will be supported ada DJ James Hendrik and DJ Goes D. Guess, next one tanggal 22 Maret di Dragon Fly, ini special banget karena event ini in conjunction the one and only DJ Yasmin some of the Birthday Bash, ada Dazzling Yasmin dan yang bakalan main nih ada DJ Winky Wiryawan, DJ Anton Wirjono, DJ Riri Mestika, DJ Reno Renatama, VJ Motioninja dan yang pastinya acara ini bakalan seru banget, keliatan dari line-upnya seru-seru banget. Well, ok and listen up karena sekali lagi kita bakal nayangin nih. Dance signal clubbing race close to close edition 2012 mulai next week satu per satu di tiap minggunya tonton keseruan dan kehebohan acaranya dan juga bisa di preview di atau di That’s it for tonight, I will see you all again next week. Same time, same station. Only on Black in News. Black Menthol Power Beat. Mc Joey in the place to be. “Chaw”

  • Analysis code mixing in first episode

1)      No 1. Alright, hey nice to see you all again, yes, kali ini special banget karena kita bakal breakdown all the events selama bulan Maret. (Baik, hai senang bertemu kalian kembali, ya, kali ini khusus banget karena kita bakal melaporkan semua acara-acara selama bulan Maret)

2)      No 2. Ini special banget karena event ini in conjunction the one and only DJ Yasmin some of the birthday bash. (ini khusus banget karena acara ini berhubungan dengan satu-satunya dan hanya satu, DJ Yasmin beberapa dari pesta ulang tahun)

3)      No 3. Yang pastinya acara ini bakalan seru banget, keliatan kan dari line-upnya seru-seru banget. (yang pastinya acara ini bakalan seru banget, keliatan kan dari susunannya seru-seru banget)

4)      No 4.  Well, ok and listen up karena sekali lagi kita bakal nayangin nih.(Baik, ok dan dengar karena sekali lagi kita bakal nayangin nih)

5)      No 5. Dance signal clubbing race close to close edition 2012 mulai next week satu per satu di tiap minggunya tonton keseruan dan kehebohan acaranya. (Dance signal clubbing race close to close edition 2012 mulai minggu depan satu per satu di tiap minggunya tonton keseruan dan kehebihan acaranya)

In the first number (1), code mixing cases when the target says “Alright, hey nice to see you all again, yes, kali ini special banget karena kita bakal breakdown all the events selama bulan Maret”. In the first sentence, the target started speaks in English in the sentence. But, in the middle of sentence he used Bahasa Indonesia and then English again. It means that code mixing happened in the first sentence and it is include to the situational code mixing based on the Wardhaugh (1986) states before, to greeting (hey nice to see you all again) and giving information (breakdown all the events selama bulan Maret) to the audiences as the purposes because the audiences are teenagers who used language that informal, so it make the target use the situational code mixing. It can’t be probably understood by the audiences because most of the audiences are Indonesian that using Indonesian language.

In the second number (2), a case of code mixing happened in some words of the sentence. It’s include to the situational code mixing, because the audiences are teenagers who used language that informal, so it make the target use the situational code mixing in the presenting the show. The purpose of the target used code mixing is to giving information about the event. The target started speaks in Bahasa Indonesia and he mixed it with other language (English) and continuing his speech with Bahasa again. Two languages in a sentences and he changed his languages 4 folds. The target says “Ini special banget karena event ini in conjunction the one and only DJ Yasmin some of the birthday bash”. Actually, some of the birthday bash in this sentence hasn’t related with the front of sentence, it means that when the target is speaking, he used that word suddenly without making the list.

In the third number (3), a case of code mixing happened in this sentence begin with Bahasa Indonesia language and then mixed with English. When the target spoke “Yang pastinya acara ini bakalan seru banget, keliatan kan dari line-upnya seru-seru banget”, it is a situational code mixing because the utterance was always used by the presenter to give information related to the given topic. The word “line-up” used as synonym of list.

In the forth number (4), clearly he conveyed this program by using English of all. But, again and again, perhaps he wanted to be “cool” guys, he conveyed “ok and listen up”. It should be “please listen” in formal. Sometimes, that pronunciation make the speaker feel comfort.

In the last number (5), a case of code mixing happened in this sentence begin with English and then mixed with Indonesia. The target first talked in English because it is more simple for the audience to understand the message, and then he used Bahasa Indonesia, but change into English again. For giving information the target more often used English than Bahasa Indonesia. And this sentence is counted as situational code mixing.

Based on the findings of the study and the discussion, some conclusions are made as follows:

1)      Mc Joey as presenter of “Black Menthol Power Beat” program often used situational code mixing to make this program more interesting. The audience had positive response toward the use of this code, because by changing the codes from Indonesian into English, Mc Joey was considered as the “cool” presenter.

2)      The presenter mixed his speaks by using code mixing to emphasis the important information or message presented to audience. Meanwhile, “Black Menthol Power Beat” program is not only to entertain the audience but also it is to give knowledge that mixes one language to another language usually uses in informal situation. And it is accepted by the audience.

“There are all about my research about code mixing. I hope this can be beneficial for you all. Thank you.”

Source :

Holmes, Janet. 2001. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics second edition. London: Pearson Education Limited.

Afendras, Evangelos. A. 1980. Patterns of Bilingualism: Selected paper from the RELC. accessed on 5th June 2010 accessed on 6th June 2010 accessed on 6th June 2010

About Reza Ajie Saputra
I am a researcher of educational process. This blog has made to support my research.

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