This study focuses on the phenomenon of code-switching (CS) which is the alternating use of two or more languages in written or spoken form (Poplack 1980). These instances of CS are collected from Brazilian Portuguese print media published by immigrant communities in Massachusetts. Print material in Brazilian Portuguese was gathered from townships and cities in the South Shore of Massachusetts, which have been documented as having large Portuguese-speaking populations. The data were analyzed by tabulating orthographic errors, examples of code-switching, false cognates and language anomalies. The results were compared to those found in Poplack (1980), Gardner-Chloros (2009), and Hill (1993), among others. The results revealed a clear relationship between the presence of CS and the instability of immigrants’ first language with possible evidence of attrition and language shift. The paper also advances the idea that the presence of CS in the community’s media is a prominent indicator of the emerging identity of immigrants in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Note on the Author

Stephanie Castellarin is a graduating senior majoring in Spanish and minoring in Portuguese. Her research on language shift in Brazilian Portuguese print media was completed during the fall semester of 2014 under the mentorship of Dr. Fernanda Ferreira (Foreign Languages).

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