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FRAGL 13: The social meaning of bilingual talk

— abgelegt unter:

Auer, Peter


This chapter presents an overview of the theories on the social meaning of code switching/mixing. The paper argues that bilingual talk is regimented by language ideologies, that is, speakers’ attitudes towards the languages represented in the society. The paper cites a variety of examples of bilingual talk from Moldova, Estonia, Jamaica, Germany and Fiji to show how code switching/mixing had different social meaning. The various attempts to develop models to account for the meaningfulness of code switches/mixes across social embeddings, such as those of Gumperz, and Myers-Scotton are critically examined and it is argued that these models fall short of providing an overall account of bilingual talk. The chapter concludes that bilingual talk can be associated with certain evaluations, attitudes, activities or characteristics of typical category members. It also argues that self- and other-categorisation is never automatically achieved by certain bilingual way of speaking, but needs to be interpreted in the specific interactional context in which it occurs.



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