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Bilingualism as Interactional Practices$
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Joseph Gafaranga

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748675951

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748675951.001.0001

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An inductive perspective on bilingualism as interactional practices

An inductive perspective on bilingualism as interactional practices

(p.42) 3 An inductive perspective on bilingualism as interactional practices
Bilingualism as Interactional Practices

Joseph Gafaranga

Edinburgh University Press

Research in code-switching, undertaken against the backdrop of very negative attitudes towards the concurrent use of two or more languages within the same conversation, has traditionally been geared towards rehabilitating this form of language use. From being seen as a random phenomenon reflecting the user’s lack of competence, code-switching is currently seen as sign of an advanced level of competence in the languages involved and as serving different interactional functions. Now that code-switching has been rehabilitated, the research tradition faces an entirely new challenge, namely that of its continued relevance. This book argues that, in order to overcome this challenge, bilingualism must be seen as consisting of diverse interactional practices and be investigated as such. This chapter outlines a methodology, described as an inductive perspective, which can be used in describing interactional practices involving the use of two or more languages and illustrates it initially by means of a monolingual example. The monolingual practice described in the chapter is the use of ‘how are you?’ by doctors to elicit patients’ presenting concerns.

Keywords:   Interactional practices, Inductive perspective, ‘How are you?’, Patients’ presenting concerns

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