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Language Contact Around the Globe

Proceedings of the LCTG3 Conference


Edited By Amei Koll-Stobbe and Sebastian Knospe

The fifth volume in the series Language Competence and Language Awareness in Europe unites a collection of peer-reviewed papers delivered at the Third Conference on Language Contact in Times of Globalization (LCTG3) at the University of Greifswald in 2011. The papers are arranged in five thematic sections: Part I studies lexical and grammatical borrowing and pseudo-loans. Part II looks at code-switching and language intertwining in different contexts, while Part III is concerned with the power, political backup and use of different languages in multilingual settings. This is followed by Part IV which comprises three articles on the Linguistic Landscapes of different urban areas. Finally, Part V focuses on language choices in literature and institutional settings.
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Gerald Stell (Free University of Brussels / Research Foundation Flanders / University of Pretoria): Language alternation and ethnicity in a post-colonial context: code-switching as a ‘non-White’ register in South Africa


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Language alternation and ethnicity in a post-colonial context: code-switching as a ‘non-White’ register in South Africa

Gerald Stell


Considerable attention has already been given to patterns of frequent code-switching in African contexts, not least through Myers-Scotton’s extensive study of Kenyan Swahili-English code-switching. In its grammatical forms, African code-switching has been analysed mostly in terms of structural predictability, rather than in terms of extralinguistic predictability. In this paper I want to present patterns of language alternation involving indigenous South African languages and English in a corpus of informal spoken data collected among students from three different ethnic communities in Bloemfontein, Free State, namely Black Sesotho-speakers, Coloured Afrikaans-speakers and White Afrikaans-speakers. Comparing patterns of code-switching across these three groups has one purpose: To illustrate the role that ethnicity, either as a habitus, or as a situational construct, plays as a factor determining grammatical forms of code-switching, and to show to what extent it can in this regard challenge predictions made on the basis of purely structural factors.

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