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Code-switching in the internationalized academe: are indexicality and authenticity always relevant?

Hultgren, Anna Kristina (2011). Code-switching in the internationalized academe: are indexicality and authenticity always relevant? In: Indexing authenticity: perspectives from linguistics and anthropology, 25-27 Nov 2011, University of Freiburg.

URL: http://www.indexing-authenticity.uni-freiburg.de/a...
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Abstract

Recent sociolinguistic theory posits that the social meaning (or ‘indexicality’) of a linguistic variant is indeterminate. In a deliberately rigid interpretation, this can be seen to imply that no linguistic variant is devoid of social meaning. The proposed talk aims to generate discussion about whether or not ‘indexicality’ and ‘authencity’ are always relevant, focusing on the (Danish/English) code-switching practices of scientists at the University of Copenhagen. Two examples from this context shall be contrasted. A discourse analysis of a newspaper debate about the increasing use of English in Danish academia suggests that the choice of code at the lexical level is clearly socially meaningful. More specifically, variants are understood as being intrinsically linked with notions of ethnolinguistic ‘authencity’, i.e. as belonging categorically to either the Danish or the English language. In stark contrast to this, interviews with the scientists themselves suggest that their choice between Danish and English lexical items may not be associated with any social meaning at all, and hence not with (ethnolinguistic) ‘authenticity’. Without denying that social meaning may still be inferred from a given variant by the analyst, to the language users themselves, the interpretation (at least as it is overtly expressed in interviews) seems to be much more one of communicative functionality than of social meaning. All in all, for purposes of theorization, such evidence suggests that ‘indexicality’ and ‘authenticity’ should be taken to be neither omnipresent nor axiomatic.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Copyright Holders: 2011 Anna Kristina Hultgren
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics > English Language & Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Language & Literacies
Related URLs:
Item ID: 36617
Depositing User: Anna Kristina Hultgren
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2013 14:36
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 10:13
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/36617
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