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Macedonia & Its Questions

Origins, Margins, Ruptures & Continuity

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Edited By Victor A Friedman, Goran Janev and George Vlahov

Macedonia and its Questions: Origins, Margins, Ruptures and Continuity is a multi-disciplinary book of 11 chapters, containing contributions that span the fields of linguistics, political science, sociology, history and law. The title of the book purposefully references but simultaneously interrogates and challenges the idea that certain nation-states and certain ethnicities can in some way constitute a "question" while others do not. The "Macedonian Question" generally has the status of a problem that involves questioning the very existence of Macedonians and one of the aims of this volume is to reframe the nature of the discussion.

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4. Features of Macedonian-English Discourse: Code-switching as a (not so) Peripheral Attribute of Australian-Macedonians’ Vernaculars.

4.Features of Macedonian-English discourse: code-switching as a (not so) peripheral attribute of Australian-Macedonians’ vernaculars.

Extract

Jim Hlavac

Monash University

Jim.Hlavac@monash.edu

Code-switching refers to “the use of two language varieties in the same conversation” (Myers-Scotton, 2006: 239). The “use” of the two languages may refer to any of the following: occasional insertions from one language into speech that is largely in the other; alteration between languages by the same speaker at or within clause boundaries; two speakers speaking monolingual versions of two different languages such that the conversation is ‘bilingual’. Anyone who is bi-or multi-lingual is sure to have code-switched at some time in their lives, and for many, code-switching is a regular and unremarkable occurrence. For that minority portion of the world population that is monolingual, there are few who would never have witnessed instances where others have switched between their languages, either on the basis of addressing others, changing topic, or for affect. But while code-switching is a common and now well-documented phenomenon, it was not so long ago that one of the founding fathers of contact linguistics, Uriel Weinreich, considered this to be a peripheral and certainly inadvisable practice:

[t]he ideal bilingual switches from one language to the other according to appropriate changes in the speech situation (interlocutors, topics, etc.), but not in an unchanged speech situation and certainly not within a single sentence. (1953, p. 73. Round brackets his).

Weinreich’s statement remained unchal-lenged for a short time only. By the 1960s field work showed that code-switching was a very common...

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