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

06 Jun 2018

In the late 1950s, Iraqi Jews left or had to leave Iraq for Israel. In the course of their encounter with a new society, with Hebrew as the national language, most Iraqi Jewish authors found it impossible to continue writing in Arabic in Israel and had to face the literary challenge of switching to Hebrew. As bilinguals, Iraqi Jewish novelists have employed Arabic in some of their Hebrew literary works, including code-switching. Conversational Code-switching is traditionally divided into three types: intersentential code-switching, intrasentential code-switching and tag-switching. This paper 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 paper suggests three main types of literary code-switching in view of the mutual relationship between author, text and reader. These are Hard-Access, Easy-Access and Ambiguous Access codeswitching.