Codeswitching im zweisprachigen Handeln
Sprachpsychologische Aspekte verbalen Planens in türkisch-deutscher Kommunikation
2010, Mehrsprachigkeit / Multilingualism, Band 24, 236 pages, E-Book (PDF), 22,30 €, ISBN 978-3-8309-7287-7
Code-switching in bilingual speech actions – Pycho-linguistic aspects of verbal planning in Turkish-German talk
This book explores phenomena of bilingual communication to be subsumed under the well-known term ‘code-switching’ (= CS). According to the specific understanding followed here, code-switching is a speaker’s employment of linguistic tools taken from two or more languages in order to interactively realize a plan of action. The theoretical background of the analyses is pragmatics in the sense of Functional Pragmatics.
The hypothesis of the study is that CS is an asset of the emergence of a German-Turkish variety developed by Turkish immigrants in Germany. Methods to check the hypothesis are the following: By analyzing CS within discourses the author shows that the verbal planning of speech actions and of concatenations of speech actions in discourse is subject to an overall propositional plan that is composed of linguistic tools of both languages. On the other hand, CS depends on the constellational characteristics of a discourse. The underlying assumption here is that, because CS depends on the constellation of discourse, vice versa, the constellation of discourse itself can be changed by CS.
In chapters 1 and 2, the empirical basis of the study is presented: The data mainly stems from two corpora collected in the longitudinal research projects “The development of narrative discourse abilities in Turkish and German in family and school contexts – Entwicklung narrativer Diskursfähigkeiten im Deutschen und im Türkischen in Familie und Schule, 1990-1994” (ENDFAS), conducted by Wilhelm Grießhaber and Jochen Rehbein, and “Linguistic connectivity in bilingual Turkish-German children – Sprachliche Konnektivität bei bilingual türkisch-deutsch aufwachsenden Kindern, 1999-2006” (SKOBI), conducted by Jochen Rehbein. The corpora are accessible in Rehbein (2009) and in Rehbein, Herkenrath, Karakoç (2009).
The diverse discourses into which the data are specified have been collected by interviewers who applied a number of ‘evocative field experiments’ (EFE) to a variety of communicative constellations. In particular, by means of EFEs, various kinds of narratives in German and Turkish were elicited from children aged between 5 and 12 years. Unexpectedly, the code-switching phenomena were found within discourses which, by intention of the interactants and by order of instruction, were suppused to be monolingual Turkish conversations, but, in fact, were bilingual. Code-Switching, thus, happened because interviewers and interviewees both were Turkish-German bilinguals.
In discussing the quantitative data in chapter 2, the author shows the role of elements of a constellation (= elements of the speech and action situation) important for analyzing code-switching. Elements of a constellation are e.g. the relationship between the participants, the distribution of their knowledge, the institutional setting etc. These are some of the reasons why code-switching is to be analyzed in relation to its communicative framework as a whole, which, in addition, is a process comprising surface and deep structures as well.
In chapter 3 some CS models prominent in the literature are reflected, e.g. those of Poplack and Myers-Scotton on the structural side as well as Gumperz’ and McClure’s approaches on the sociolinguistic side. Against the background of his own empirical analyses, the author gave evidence of the morphological and phonological intertwining of linguistic means of both languages in codeswitched words and utterances, at the same time disproving some classical constraints of CS. Especially, a closer look at Myers-Scotton’s MLF-model (at the stage of her theory when this study was written) indicates that the bare categorical distinction between “function morphemes” and “content morphemes” is too unsubtle and too ambiguous to explain a variety of CS phenomena in the data. Rather, a differentiation concerning the mental and interactive functions of morpho-phonological, syntactic and lexical form elements is required in order to achieve a satisfying analysis of the CS data. In this respect, a number of CS aspects demand for a psycho-linguistic and a cognitive-mental explanation.
Chapter 4 deploys the theoretical background of the study by introducing the categories of Functional Pragmatics (= FP) which are applied to the analysis of the code switching phenomena. According to FP theory, morpho-phonological, syntactic and lexical form elements of a language are to be classified functionally according to their membership to linguistic fields, with their respective linguistic procedures such as the symbol field with appellative procedures, the operative field with operative procedures, the incitement field with incitative procedures, the deictic field with deictic procedures, and the tinge field with expressive procedures. There are, especially in immigrant languages like Turkish, various changes of field categories of linguistic form elements of Standard Turkish via field transpositions (s. Rehbein, Herkenrath, Karakoç 2008). Communicative categories of Functional Pragmatics are patterns of action and the communicative apparatus. In the data analysis, the linguistic categories of FP are centred around the constitutive elements of the constellation, which define the specific configuration of a domain of reality as part of the discourse situation, the mental domain of the speaker as well as the one of the hearer, and, in particular in the study at hand, around the speaker’s verbal planning and the reconstruction of the hearer’s 8 plan. All in all, in the present study, CS phenomena are envisaged from an action-theoretical point of view which is formal, functional, compositional, and dynamic as well.
Chapter 5 shows how the discourse-structural succession of language switches dependends on the turn taking apparatus as well as on the categories of language choice. The research question of this chapter is the interrelationship between CS structure, language choice, and the interactants’ social relationship, which itself is affected by the control field, another analytical category concerning the constellation. There are four types of control fields which are relevant for CS phenomena because they comprise various aspects of a (in sociolinguistic terms “quasi aprioristic”) concept of “power”: the sphere of control, the sphere of influence, the territory and, finally, the sphere of integrity. The control field types of the respective actants determine the latitude of their speech actions, at the same time depending on their social relationship. Thus, CS is possible if allowed by the interviewers (as one party of the interaction) even if only implicitly as they apply CS themselves. The data shows that the latitude of a bilingual speaker’s speech action is widened by allowing CS with the consequence that the discourse constellation itself changes. ‘Allowing’, thus, means giving signals (of interviewers) by means of incitative procedures such as interjections, thus indicating the hearer’s comprehension of the speaker’s (the interviewed child’s) use of German or Turkish language tools, respectively.
On the other hand, a speech actions’ latitude may be restricted by the interviewer’s forbidding the interviewee’s making use of German within a monolingually defined Turkish conversation. Thus, it might happen that the informant cannot verbally process the answer to an interviewer’s question in spite of knowing the requested information. Instead, s/he changes her/his strategy in addressing another source of knowledge within his/her field of control: the informant, e.g., leaves the place of interaction, walks into the kitchen, asks her/his mother for the Turkish expression, returns and, then, replies to the interviewer’s question in the required language Turkish (here, non-verbal action sequences have to be included into the analysis of CS processes in communication). Cases of this kind evidence the process of CS as a linguistic knowledge consulting process during the inter-action: In generalizing, one can say that, often, instead of consulting an external knowledge base, the bilingual speaker focusses (languagespecifically ready-made) verbal plans in her/his mental repertoire in one of the acquired languages.
The process described also works in an institutional constellation: In consideration of the bilingual defragmentation of the action capabilities it is claimed that language restrictions in schools could also delimit the verbal latitude of the children. Regarding the research of Holmen & Jørgensen 2000 this could impact 9 problem-solving exercises, especially in team work. In chapter 6 the author analyzes CS as it occurs during the action process which incorporates diverse elements of the speech action process as analyzed in Rehbein 1977, as there are a) the inter-actional nexus, b) the assessment of the situation, c) the motivation, d) objective and purpose, e) formation of the plan, f) the performance of an action, g) the speech action result and, finally, h) the subsequent action.
The formation of the plan is the central aspect of the analyzes of CS in this study, it comprises three pre-phases (of a speaker’s speech action): 1) focussing the objective of the speech action, 2) formation of the schema of the speech action and, 3) the completion of the plan of the speech action, the execution of which generates the outcome of the verbal utterance. Plans are considered as pre-constructions of the verbalization of the relevant knowledge in the broader sense and are composed of sub-plans which, themselves, are formed by (preconstructed) linguistic tools. The formation of a plan and its verbal completion depends on the interactional nexus in which the speaker orientates him-/herself with regard to the envisaged action. The ability of the interactants to make use of (ready-made) verbal plans as well as to create new verbal plans is acquired during the language-acquisition process.
An important point of interest to be emphasized here is the question of how bilingual children employ the linguistic tools of two languages when they process verbal planning within one and the same speech action as well as across the concatenation of speech actions in a bilingual discourse. The author shows that both bilingual speech actions and concatenated speech actions are construed and formed by sub-plans, which are constituted by linguistic tools taken from a repertoire of both languages (s. Lüdi 2006 for the concept of multilingual repertoire). In some cases, the speaker shifts her/his plans during the whole process of verbalizing her/his projected speech actions. Changes in language processing of this kind are reflected in a speaker’s language choice and are analyzed, in this study, as micro-structural processes in mental-planning activities. It is argued that plans and sub-plans are retrieved from the speaker’s acquired multilingual repertoire or, if not, are to be construed as new plans based on an individual’s multilingual capability and on the speaker's operating experience. In such cases, the morpho-syntax of the bilingual utterances can be “mixed” in the sense of linguistic creativity. This is shown by means of an example in which an utterance (in italics) interlaces a Turkish converb-construction, a German subordinate clause and two Turkish base-constructions:
((YIL and BUR are talking about BUR’s school subjects))
YIL Ba‚ka ne var bakayým? • • Ûnglizce, Erdkunde?
What else is there, let me see? • • english, geography?
BUR Hm. [affirmative pronounciation]
YIL Dünyayý mý yapýyorsunuz yoksa ba‚ka bi‚ey mi?
Are you going through the world or something else?
BUR Hayýr, Íimdi ‚ey ähm… • • • Äh önce bizim • ‚eyimiz vardý çünkü
No, now like em… • • • Em at first we • had something because
BUR öb/ • ähm • • Erdkunde:: de ve Biologie’de hep ayný ö.retmen var.
the oth/ • em • • in geography and biology it’s always the same teacher.
BUR Ve o hep böyle yapýyor.
And always he does it like this.
BUR Biologie yapýnca ‚imdi ba‚lýyoruz ve ganze Zeit
Biology make-CV now we are starting and whole time
In biology lessons, now, we are starting [to do that] and, all the time,
BUR wenn wir Erdkunde haben hep yapýyoruz.
when we geography have always we are doing [it].
when we have geography lessons, we always are doing [this].
BUR • • Auch wenn wir Erdkunde haben. Weil wir haben äh ikisinde ayný
• • Even when we have geography lesson. Because in both we have the same
BUR • ö.retmen. Hep ähm…
• teacher. Always em…
BUR Ve Test yapýnca ondan sonra yine Erdkunde yapýyoruz.
And after a test we do again geography.
The italicized utterance starts with a Turkish converbial construction taking a German borrowing as a complement (Biologie yapýnca ‘Biology make-CV’) which is itself linked to a superordinated finite verb in Turkish ( Íimdi ba‚lýyoruz ‘now we are starting’); in the second part of the coordinative construction (after the connector ve ‘and’) the utterance is continued with a German adverbial subordination (ganze Zeit wenn wir Erdkunde haben ‘whole time when we geography have’), which itself is linked to a superordinate verbal construction in Turkish (hep yapýyoruz ‘always we are doing [it’]).
The example demonstrates the complexity in the verbalization of diverse sub-plans, referring to the progression of the lessons and to the time expressions that the speaker can only process by integrating German linguistic tools. What is striking here is that the illocutionary act is processed via a Turkish base con- 11 struction, so that the entire utterance seems to be Turkish. On the other hand, especially the second subordinate structure is taken from a ready-made repertoire in German.
In the final chapter 7, code-switching is explored under the aspect of connectivity. Connectivity encompasses linguistic devices of various formal categories which are used to establish a connection between speech actions in discourse (s. Rehbein, Hohenstein, Pietsch 2007). Utterance-initializing connectors such as also, und and und dann and their Turkish counterparts yani, ve, o zaman/ ondan sonra are focussed in utterances that start with one of these connectors and continue with words of the other language (cf. Rehbein, Herkenrath & Karakoç 2008). Connectors like these connect already verbalized propositions with subsequent propositions, which implies that it is up to the hearer’s discourse knowledge how s/he comprehends the specific connections. Also, connectors in one language, preferably German, may initiate speech act patterns such as explanations within narrative speech.
One of the results of this chapter is that informants of an older age prefer German connectors even when they process their utterances in Turkish. Consequences of these results are that the organization of propositional processing of connectivity is handled by means of linguistic tools which are functionally acquired in German linguistic constellations, e.g. in classroom communication.