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Open Access Le code-switching comme ressource pour l'organisation de la parole-en-interaction

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Le code-switching comme ressource pour l'organisation de la parole-en-interaction

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The aim of the paper is both to present existing research in interactional linguistics and to highlight some broader issues it raises for general linguistics. Thus, code-switching is dealt with not just as a particular phenomenon, but as a key area of study revealing important contemporary issues for linguistics.

Plurilingualism has been approached from several perspectives: among them, the interactional approaches have focussed their inquiries on code-switching as it can be observed in naturally occurring interactional materials, recorded in various social settings. This empirical base has been fruitful for the exploration not only of the socio-pragmatic functionalities of code-switching but also for a redefinition of the grammatical resources involved in the organization of talk-in-interaction. In order to present these contributions, the paper will sketch some approaches coming from a broad interactional perspective, and develop more explicitly the approach inspired by conversation analysis.

This leads us to formulate a series of issues to which code-switching can contribute in a powerful way :

- issues dealing with the very definition of what the grammatical resources are: code-switching is not just the use of two or more codes by the speakers, but involves the active reconfiguration of what a "code" or, better, what a grammatical resource can be - as a flexible, indexical resource endogenously and locally redefined by the speakers for the practical purposes of the interaction.

- issues dealing with the accomplishment of identities and social categories in interaction, dealt with as the emergent product of locally organized socio-linguistic practices;

- issues dealing with the organization of sequentiality of talk-in-interaction : the way in which code-switching is mobilized both adjust and shape the interactional order and can teach us much about it.

These issues are discussed by referring to the state of the art of this field and to the detailed analysis of a few excerpts of naturally occurring interactions recorded at work.


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