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Informalization and Hybridization of Speech Practices

Polylingual Meaning-Making across Domains, Genres, and Media

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Edited By Amei Koll-Stobbe

Speech practices as discursive practices for meaning-making across domains, genres, and social groups is an under-researched, highly complex field of sociolinguistics. This field has gained momentum after innovative studies of adolescents and young adults with mixed ethnic and language backgrounds revealed that they «cross» language and dialectal or vernacular borders to construct their own hybrid discursive identities. The focus in this volume is on the diversity of emerging hybridizing speech practices through contact with English, predominantly in Europe. Contributions to this collected volume originate from the DFG funded conference on language contact in times of globalization (LCTG4) and from members of the editor’s funded research group «Discursive Multilingualism».

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On schematic constructional copying: The case of French X slash Y

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Abstract: This chapter deals with a novel case of constructional copying, i.e. the incipient productivity of the partially schematic construction X slash Y in early-twenty-first-century French, as in chanteuse slash actrice ‘singer slash actress’ or consoles de jeu slash porte clés ‘game consoles slash key rings’. Such occurrences are still exceedingly rare, but they can, however, be found repeatedly in online journalistic prose. On the basis of data collected from the news aggregator Google Actualités, it is advanced that the French schema was copied from an equivalent English construction associated with the concept of ‘concurrent multiple careers’, which was first popularized in the US by the journalist Marci Alboher in 2007, and that it rapidly acclimatized to the point that it is now used with different semantics than those of the original schema and appears in a variety of structures, including adjectival constructs and a remarkably high number of recursive constructs. From this latter fact, it is claimed that slash has been partially functionalized into a marker of immediate constituent structure that audibly signals internal boundaries within polylexemic constructs.

Keywords: constructional copying, productivity, polylexemic constructs

1 Introduction

The contact of Hexagonal French with English has intensified in the current era of globalization of communications and, remarkably, linguistic copying is no longer limited to lexical units like smoothie, paintball or ultimate (frisbee). The copying of many English units ending in -ing for example has led to the abstraction and nativization of...

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