Deutsch-schwedisches Codeswitching an der internationalen Universität

Detta är en avhandling från University of Gothenburg

Sammanfattning: The study contributes to the growing field of multilingualism in university contexts. The subject is the bilingual language use of scholars working at German institutes at universi¬ties in Sweden. The study illuminates both the formal and the functional aspects of their code¬switching. It thereby goes towards filling gaps in research on codeswitching in academic communication. The analysis of the grammatical integration of switched items uses a contras¬tive method giving special attention to aspects where the language systems (German and Swedish) come into conflict. The findings are interpreted in relation to the sociological approach of communities of practice, which reveals that, in building such a community, the informants follow specific practices in their codeswitching. A corpus of more than 30 hours of conversation has been compiled, compris¬ing different com-munication situations at the workplaces. It is exposed that the existing descriptive models do not contribute categories suitable to describing the form of codeswitching in the corpus, since they do not consider the syntactical characteristics of spoken language. Therefore, a new descriptive model is suggested. The main categorization criteria are conversational turns and morphosyntactical dependencies. Further, categories of analysis of motivation for codeswitching were found to be a desidera¬tum. To create a description model, the function of and motives for codeswitching mentioned in pre-vious literature were compiled and assigned to subordinated factors. The analysis shows that the informants prefer a distinct base language, in which items from the respective other language can be inserted, mostly nouns and particles. The insertion of verbs is avoided. The investigated speakers follow strict patterns concerning the morphological and syntactical integration of inserted items. These patterns differ from those reported from other bilingual communities and predicted in theoretical models such as the MLF model: Even though the word order in bilingual utterances follows the base language, inserted words are inflected according to the embedded language, so neither Swedish nor German constitutes a classical matrix language. One grammatical item that comes into conflict as a result of this pattern is the definite article, which is an inflectional suffix in Swedish, but is a free grammatical word in German. Which system is used to mark an embedded language noun as definite, depends mainly on the motivation for the codeswitching. Metalinguistic comments are a common motivation for codemixing in the corpus. The frequent insertion of nouns is, however, mainly motivated by linguistic domains. This is also remarkable in comparison with other bilingual communities, since linguistic domains are mostly predicted to cause a change of the base language rather than the insertion of single words.

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