The occurrence of code-switching in a speech community is part and parcel of its verbal culture. Code-switching is a complex cultural and linguistic phenomenon, as it is demonstrated by different approaches that center on: grammar, interaction, discourse, sociolinguistics, pragmatics and anthropology. Code-switching has been mainly observed in bilingual conservation by ethnographers of communication and interactional sociolinguists, who have been the fist to study it in a systematic way. It is not suprising, then, that their approach takes up oral language in sociocultural and situational contexts (i.e. situated oral discourse) from a synchronic perspective. Our aim is to study code-switching in records of communicative practices past historical communities left behind. This approach is historical, though not diachronic since it does not aim at reconstructing an evolutionary sequence. The study is based upon the analysis of written texts-though the relevant data point towards orality or its representation in written form. This type of approach has few antecedents from the viewpoint of linguistic and social sciences. Its aim is no other than to discover the meaning of code-switching for those who produced it and to whom it was addressed, and to unveil its place in the community's verbal culture. Since we assume a notion of meaning as a cultural context-sensitive construct that results not only from cognition and inference but situated verbal interaction, the loss of the historical and communicative context poses a first obstacle that is to be overcome by the assistance of other disciplines (&)
|Effective start/end date
|10/12/03 → 9/12/06
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