The term `code-switching' is used to describe the mixing of different language varieties which often results from language contact. Penelope Gardner-Chloros presents the first full-length study of code-switching in a European context. Throughout history, Alsace has been a meeting point of the Roman and Germanic worlds. In spite of its marked regional character, it has been alternately claimed by France and Germany, each anxious to assimilate the region to its own
national and linguistic identity. Today most of the population still speak a Germanic dialect, alternating with French which is the language of public life, education, and the media.
The author lived in Strasbourg from 1981 to 1988. She describes this exemplar of code-switching not only as a linguist, but also as someone attuned to the many layers of significance which this mode of speech has in the Alsatian community.
'It is likely to attract a good deal of interest because this was the first full-scale study of code-switching to be carried out in a bilingual community in Europe.'
Times Higher Education Supplement
'The fieldwork strategies adopted for conducting micro-level observations will be of particular interest to others engaged in community-based research on bilingualism and code-switching.'
Times Higher Education Supplement
'the full-length study undertaken in an exclusively European context ... a valuable study.' The Modern Language Review, Vol 88 Part 2
`Hers is a thoughtful and thought-provoking initial study of code choices in a particular region under a particular set of historical and social circumstances ... Readers interested in a perceptive microlinguistic study of one bilingual region's code choices will find her study highly worthwhile.'
`an enlightening picture of language contact ... this detailed study is of interest at two different levels. First, it addresses a number of theoretical issues that are discussed with the support of extensive data. Second, it gives a well-rounded picture of a language situation that is in a state of transition'
Journal of Linguistic Anthropology
`Choice of speakers and settings are made judiciously in line with various hypotheses on their relevance for the observed phenomena. A number of important conceptual and terminological distinctions are made with care, and carried through in the empirical study.'
'The strengths of the book are in the description of the state of Alsatian, the research summary, the collection of authentic data and the analysis of the "mechanics" of code-switching.'
Jörg Roche, University of British Columbia, American Journal of Germanic Linguistics and Literatures, July 1993
`a long-overdue study of the phenomenon in Strasbourg ... The study is well-written ... and many a light touch ... This is an important book, not only for those who are interested in the linguistic situation in eastern France, but for language contact studies in general. The meticulous care with which data have been collected and analysed is a model of its kind, and one can only hope that other areas where languages are in contact will be treated with the
French Language Studies
Language in Alsace; principal approaches to the study of selection and switching; the surveys; conversational analysis; quantification. Appendix: "supplement de la grammaire francaise pour l'Alsace" (1902).
Series: Oxford Studies in Language Contact
Number Of Pages: 234
Published: 11th July 1991
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.8 x 16.2
Weight (kg): 0.49