Social Motivations for Codeswitching

Social Motivations for Codeswitching : Evidence from Africa

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Codeswitching may be broadly defined as the use of two or more linguistic varieties in the same conversation. Using data from multilingual African context, Carol Myers-Scotton advances a theoretical argument which aims at a general explanation of the motivations underlying the phenomenon. She treats codeswitching as a type of skilled performance, not as the 'alternative strategy' of a person who cannot carry on a conversation in the language in which it
began. Speakers exploit the socio=psychological values associated with different linguistic varieties in a particular speech community: by switching codes speakers negotiate a change in social distance between themselves and other participants in a conversation. Switching between languages has much in common
with making stylistic choices within the same language: it is as if bilingual and multilingual speakers have an additional style at their command when they engage in codeswitching.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 190 pages
  • 155 x 234 x 13mm | 334g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • maps
  • 0198239238
  • 9780198239239
  • 2,345,418

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a unique theoretical synthesis that organizes and explains * Language and Society *
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