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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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FOUED LAROUSSI: Electronic Arabic-French code-switching

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FOUED LAROUSSI Electronic Arabic-French code-switching 1 Introduction Most researchers analysing code-switching as a verbal strategy among bilingual speakers have stressed the need to situate it in a dual context, that of the speech economy in a multilingual sociolinguistic community and that of the verbal rep- ertoires of the speakers belonging to it. They are in agreement on its multi-dimen- sionality and certainly do not advocate any exclusive approach when studying it. Whether its significance is socio-interactional, discursive or referential, it can only be grasped by situating it the context of a multilingual community as one of the “social mechanisms of negotiation and definition of social roles, networks and boundariess”, as Monica Heller puts it (1988, 1). These approaches, based on the correlation between linguistic changes and social facts, have been highly effective for analysing code-switching as a dis- cursive oral strategy par excellence. However the issue here is code-switching in electronic writing. We do not intend to revisit the theoretical discussion op- posing some authors such as Jacques Anis (2001) and Françoise Gadet (2003), to cite only these two, on the status of electronic writing: are they written, oral or “spritten” productions, “parlécites”, to use the expression coined by Jacques Anis (ibid.)? Here we wish to see if an analysis of Arab-French code-switching in electronic writing would justify the same findings as for oral and face-to-face situ- ations. Are the same theoretical tools to be used as for the analysis of oral produc- tions? Are these...

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