This special issue of the RC25 ISA Newsletter Summer-2009 is dedicated to the
memory our late friend, colleague and mentor, Professor Rodolfo Jacobson. „Jake‟
as he was fondly known, convened a series of panels on code switching at
International Sociological Association congresses, and edited several important
collections of groundbreaking code switching research studies, notably “Code
Switching Worldwide” (1998) and “Code Switching Worldwide II” (2001).

Rodolfo Jacobson is acknowledged by another of the world‟s leading code
switching researchers, Carol Myers Scotton as the originator in the 1970s of the
important distinction between 'matrix' and 'embedded' languages in code switching
research, which provides the grammatical frame in code-mixed text, and the
embedded language, which supplies lexical content in well-known work of 1993
Duelling languages: Grammatical structure in code switching. Oxford, UK: Clarendon
Press (Myers Scotton, 1993).

A solid number of Rodolfo Jacobson‟s works deal with code switching on data of
Spanish and English with a focus on linguistic, pragmatic and societal problems of
L1 and L2 usage in a classroom. He was also a pioneer in seeking to integrate
linguistic and social approaches to code switching research, as is evident from his
studies of Malay-English code switching in the context of Malaysia. That was in
Malaysia where his colleagues, friends, former students still like and remember
him as a thoughtful scholar and a good-hearted person. He was always open for
new ideas and creative cooperations.

That is why the contributors of the Issue on code switching in Malaysia would like
to acknowledge his leading contribution to the field. We fondly recall his
willingness to share his breadth of knowledge and to spend time with younger
researchers, offering them support and encouragement right up to his final
departure from Malaysia early in 2006, shortly before his passing.

Selected publications of Rodolfo Jacobson on code switching in Malaysia

Jacobson, R. (1993). Penyatuan dan kontras dalam
   alternasi antara dua bahasa yang berbeza dari segi genetic: Penukaran kod Bahasa
   Melayu-Inggeris. Jurnal Dewan Bahasa, Mei 1993, 399-427.
Jacobson, R. (1996). In search of the deeper message:
   Code switching rationales of Mexican-Americans and Malaysians. In M. Hellinger &
   U. Ammon (Eds.), Contrastive Sociolinguistics. Contributions to the Sociology of
   Language 71, (pp.77-102). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Jacobson, R. (1998). Conveying a broader message
   through bilingual discourse: An attempt at contrastive code switching research. In R.
   Jacobson (Ed.), Code switching worldwide (pp. 51-76). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Jacobson, R. (2001a). Language alternation: The third kind
   of code switching mechanism. In R. Jacobson (Ed.), Code switching worldwide II,
   (pp. 59-76). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Jacobson, R. (2001b). Aspects of scholarly language use in
   Malaysia: Switching codes in formal settings. In U. Ammon (Ed.), The dominance of
   English as a language of science in the non-English communities, (pp. 177-192).
   Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

   Maya Khemlani David and James McLellan
Information about the authors:
Professor Dr. Maya Khemlani David
(Honorary Fellow Chartered Institute of Linguists)
Head of Section for Co-Curricular Activities, Elective Courses by Other Faculties and TITAS
Staff of Faculty of Languages and Linguistics
University of Malaya
50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel (O) 03 7967 3047 Fax 03 79673155
(H) 03 7955 0078
(M) 012 3779001

Dr James McLellan
Department of General and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The University of Waikato
Private Bag 3105,
Hamilton 3240,
New Zealand

To top