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.
Publisher: Oxford University Press