Social Motivations for Codeswitching: Evidence from Africa

Paperback | April 30, 1999

byCarol Myers-Scotton

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Codeswitching may be broadly defined as the use of two or more linguistic varieties in the same conversation. Using data from multilingual African context, Carol Myers-Scotton advances a theoretical argument which aims at a general explanation of the motivations underlying the phenomenon.She treats codeswitching as a type of skilled performance, not as the 'alternative strategy' of a person who cannot carry on a conversation in the language in which it began. Speakers exploit the socio=psychological values associated with different linguistic varieties in a particular speechcommunity: by switching codes speakers negotiate a change in social distance between themselves and other participants in a conversation. Switching between languages has much in common with making stylistic choices within the same language: it is as if bilingual and multilingual speakers have anadditional style at their command when they engage in codeswitching. _

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Codeswitching may be broadly defined as the use of two or more linguistic varieties in the same conversation. Using data from multilingual African context, Carol Myers-Scotton advances a theoretical argument which aims at a general explanation of the motivations underlying the phenomenon.She treats codeswitching as a type of skilled p...

Carol Myers-Scotton is at University of South Carolina.

other books by Carol Myers-Scotton

Format:PaperbackDimensions:190 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.51 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198239238

ISBN - 13:9780198239239

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`we are impressed by the academic standards achieved by Carol Myers-Scotton in her work, which has already given the study of code switiching the boost it needed...the models are very clearly presented. The predictions they make are formulated as testable principles.'International JournaL of Applied Linguistics