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Code-Switching, Languages in Contact and Electronic Writings

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Edited By Foued Laroussi

The aim of this book is not to revisit work done on code-switching as a verbal strategy, but to discuss code-switching in electronic writing. Sociolinguistic approaches have focused mainly on the analysis of oral productions. What is the position with regard to writing and, more specifically, electronic writing? In this collection dealing with code-switching situations in electronic writing the contributors give answers to the following major question: what happens when multilingual writers who belong to social networks, virtual or otherwise, communicate among themselves in one or more common languages? Special attention is given to code-switching both in CMCs (Computer-Mediated Communications) and in mobile phone use. Given the constraints inherent in both types of communication, the written productions they give rise to do not show the same features and therefore do not call for the same treatment.

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DORA CARPENTER: Harissa.com: Narrative(s), code-switching and nostalgia – a case study

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DORA CARPENTER Harissa.com: Narrative(s), code-switching and nostalgia – a case study 1 The website The Harissa website is aimed at Tunisian Jews in the Diaspora from Tunisia, the ‘Tunes’. It is a virtual space for discussions, encounters, exchanges and memories. As of September 2009, the site map displayed more than 4300 links. The site was created in the United States in 1999; the Harissa Foundation is an official not-for profit public benefit organization. The founder of the website is Jaco Halfon, a Tunisian Jew living in the USA, and the generic Arabic used in the shared pages of the websites will often be Tunisian Judeo-Arabic. By Tunisian Judeo-Arabic, I refer to the Tunisian oral/electronically transcribed variety spoken by Tunisian Jews. This is again a generic term as they are different varieties depending main- ly on region/ generation/ education. For example, Tunisian Judeo-Arabic for the older generations displays distinctive phonetic features ([ƌ] instead of [s], for ex- ample) but these distinctions are no longer systematic. This point explains in part the discrepancies in transcribing Judeo-Arabic using Latin characters. 1.1 The websites in the foundation are http://harissa.com (the website for “Tunes”), http://zlabia.com (the website for Algerian Jews), http://dafina.net (the website for Moroccan Jews), http://kiftv.com (a website for posting/exchanging videoclips and videos), http://jrencontre.com (a meeting zone for Jews). 1.2 The names of the websites themselves display the most frequent feature of a “languag- es in contact” situation amongst web-users: lexical switches; these lexical switches are...

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