- Dear All
I read leoni's mail about code switching in south africa where there
are many languages used in the daily conversation. It is the same case
in my country, Indonesia. Our official language is Indonesian.
However, every provinces have their own vernacular languages. One of
the vernacular language that are largely spoken is Javanese. It is
very interesting since Javanese has speech levels (Standard-Honorific).
Now, consider the example of code switching. Ahmad, my friend, is not
a javanese. The first time he went to traditional market, he bought
something very expensive, let us say Rp. 150.000 or $ 15. He spoke to
the salesperson Indonesian. One year after that, Ahmad began to be
able to speak Javanese clearly, even in Honorific style. Then, he went
to the same store, with the same salesperson, bought the same thing
and the price get much cheaper! Rp.30.000 or only $3. After i
confirmed him, he told me that he used Javanese in honorific style. So
you see, Ahmad got advantage of doing code switching. Because when he
used javanese, the salesperson will think that they are in similar
group. As an analogy, for a boat ride in Sanur Bali, foerign tourists
are charged more expensive than domestic ones. That was just the same
cas as Ahmad's
- Leoni Kotzé:
As you suggest, analysts' determination of motivation can be
problematic. I find the Markedness Model, probably the most widely
used theory of code switching motivation, somewhat unsatisfactory,
though it is quite robust and well developed.
According to the Markedness Model (Myers-Scotton 1993), code switching
is a rational choice, motivated by negotiations over social role, what
the theory terms Rights and Obligations Sets. Speakers choose an
appropriate language for the communication setting, in order to index
their role in that situation. Code switching is then used "to make
alternate exploratory choices as candidates for an unmarked choice" (142).
According to this model, your grandchild may be acting rationally to
index her own rights and obligations relative to her Africaans
speaking family, or making exploratory choices. In the former case,
she may be positioning herself in the same role, relative to her older
relatives, that she does relative to her English-speaking teachers. In
the latter, she may be exploring her own linguistic possibilities
within the home.
As I said at the outset, however, I'm personally uncomfortable
assuming that code switching (or other language behavior) is
necessarily rational, as most discussions of 'motivation' do.
I would submit that your grandchild may be exploring her communicative
possibilities by trying out various languages with various
interlocutors. This could be rational and intentional, but it is not
necessary to assume that it is, nor to see a bid for new or different
rights in the behavior.
Or maybe not. Since I've never actually seen you grandchild, my
speculation should, of course, be taken with a generous grain of salt.
Myers-Scotton, Carol. 1993. Social Motivations for Codeswitching:
Evidence from Africa. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
--- In email@example.com, Leoni Kotzé <leoni@...> wrote:
> I am also
> particularly interested in the MOTIVATION for this type of
> although I read the other day that the motivation for
> language/dialect/whatever code one uses, cannot really be
determined, as it
> is in most cases a subconscious choice.
> In the light of the above, I'd like to share the following with you:
> I have an Afrikaans speaking grandchild, who went to nursery school
> age of 2-1/2 last year in January. As there was no place available
> Afrikaans class, they put her in the English class. For the first three
> months, she did not really participate in any speech events (Krashen's
> silent period, I guess :-)), but thereafter she started speaking in
> as well as in Afrikaans.
> She is now 3-12 years old and she now codeswitches and this is what
> interesting. What would her MOTIVATION be for codeswitching with her
> members who are all Afrikaans speaking? I have an idea that her
> codeswitching is promted by `association' (i.e. when she is at play)
> than any identification of negotiation purpose(s),.
- Thanks for your reply, Chad.
I feel exactly the way you do about the Markedness Model.
The problem with the motivation part, as you so aptly point out, is that we
simply dont know. It remains a problem.
Back to the drawing board . . .
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Just a thought about this discussion on "motivation" in language
alternation and "choices". I wouldn't say that language usages are all
automatic and subconscious. There are clearly cases of planned language
choice. But "motivation" is a psychological notion (such as
"accommodation") which asks about a 'Why', whereas discourse and
conversation analysts ask about a conversational 'What for'. This 'What
for' is not psychological, though, but discursive and interactional. And
whereas we can claim that the What for (the conversational "orientation" or
disposition to do this or that in terms of tasks at hand) also lies somehow
in the speaker's mind (in the speaker's cognitive context about
conversation itself, where else could it be?), one thing is to search for
it as if it resided there prior to conversation and in the form of
determining factors, and another thing is to *reach* this context and
achieve its reconstruction after having examined discourse-in-itself.
I think it's and old story, and the stance one takes depends on the
explanatory power we assign (or prefer to assign, on the basis of
specialization and other disciplinary routines) to Mind, to Discourse, or
to Society, the three elements present, for example, in Teun A. Van Dijk's
models of ideology, discourse, and context(s).
Celso Alvarez Cáccamo
At 21:05 17-01-2008 +0200, you wrote:
>Thanks for your reply, Chad.
>I feel exactly the way you do about the Markedness Model.
>The problem with the motivation part, as you so aptly point out, is that we
>simply dont know. It remains a problem.
>Back to the drawing board . . .
>No virus found in this outgoing message.
>Checked by AVG Free Edition.
>Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.4/1227 - Release Date: 16/01/2008
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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