Exploring Socio-cultural Issues through Code-Switching in the Poetry of Hamid Khan

  • Abdul Karim Khan Assistant Professor, Department of English & Applied Linguistics, University of Science & Technology, Bannu
  • Dr Zahir Jang Professor, Department of Linguistics & Literature, Qurtaba University, Peshawar
Keywords: Hamid Khan, stylistics, foregrounding, deviation, code-switching


This article focuses on the use of code-switched words in Hamid Khan’s collections of poetry, “Velvet of Loss” and “Pale Leaf” (Three Voices). The incorporated code-switching in Khan’s poetry relate to the socio-cultural issues. Hamid Khan sings the local problems and issues and indirectly tries to resolve the problems faced by his fellow beings. His style is not verbose, yet his poems compel one to ponder over the social and political problems of the day. He does so through the device of foregrounding. The data were collected on the basis of foregrounding. The words that appealed to and attracted the scholar’s attention deviated from normal use of English as they are foreign words. Moreover, the data are tabulated bearing the title of the respective poems and page numbers for ready reference. In addition, the code-switched words are discussed with reference to the issues and themes implied therein. These code-switched words are: Chowkidar, Burqa, Gibranic Sorrow, Deodasi, Abaseen, Swastika and Ku Klux Klan, and Babus. Lastly, the poems containing the foregrounded foreign words (code-switching) are given in the appendix section of the paper for ready reference.