Book notice: Talk in Two Languages

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Tue Jan 15 16:37:08 UTC 2008

Talk in Two Languages 2007 Palgrave Macmillan

Author: Joseph Gafaranga


Talk in Two Languages focuses on language alternation, presumably the
most common aspect of linguistic behaviour among bilingual speakers.
Joseph Gafaranga's starting point is that, at the theoretical level,
language alternation in the same conversation is impossible in
principle. He argues that the key question for research is how
bilinguals actually manage to use two languages in the same
conversation despite this theoretical impossibility. Drawing on
Ethnomethodology, the issue is conceptualised as that of order in talk
in two languages. From this basis he proposes a critical reading of
current approaches to language alternation, both grammatical and
socio-functional, as accounts of this essential problem of order. He
also offers extended case studies which show how the ideas,
concepts and methodologies surveyed can be used to address specific
issues of order in bilingual conversation, how identified weaknesses
might be overcome and how future work might proceed.

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