Interactional otherness: Towards a redefinition of codeswitching

Joseph Gafaranga, Maria-Carme Torras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The concept of codeswitching has traditionally been understood, from an external observer's perspective, to mean any occurrence of two languages within the same conversation. Our position is that language alternation should be observed from participants' own perspective. From this perspective, many distinct types of language alternation can be identified, namely â??language alternation itself as the medium,â?� â??medium repairâ?� (Gafaranga, 1999,2000) and functional deviance from the medium. In turn, in this last possibility, two situations can be found: "medium-switching" and â??medium suspension.â?� However, for practical reasons of research continuity, we suggest to keep the term â??codeswitchingâ?� to refer to both cases for both are instances of interactional otherness. Thus, our â??respecificationâ?� is that codeswitching is, not any occurrence of two languages within the same conversation, but rather any instance of deviance from current medium which is not oriented to(by participants themselves) as requiring any repair .
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingualism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2002


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