Studies on Slavonic and Non-Slavonic Languages in Contact
Code-switching and Code-mixing Revisited in Urban and Ethnic Styles: A Brief Sketch on Variation and Language Shift
This paper takes up the notions of code-switching and code-mixing and compares them with the terms “language mixing”, “interference” and “language change” from my previous work on the translation of Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek. While the latter terms are pure fiction – a kind of wordplay, taken from the real situation one hundred years ago in the multinational Austro-Hungarian Monarchy – the former terms are crucial for the present study of contemporary verbal interaction among young people in Berlin and Brandenburg. The analysis concentrates on the DFG Urban Voices project, which was conducted at six different locations in Germany, in cooperation with the State University of Saint Petersburg, collecting data on everyday speech among Russian immigrants in German cities. The analysis concludes that the mixing of languages is not a deviation from a norm, but rather the default case, and thus should be considered a new field of research. Since Russian students use these forms of conversation not only among themselves but also with their parents and friends, this conversational style can become a new, broader form of conversation and trigger a language change in Russian-speaking interlocutors abroad.
Keywords: language shift, language change, code-mixing, code-switching, conversational analysis, multilingualism, bilingualism, Russian migrants, urban styles
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