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Re: [code-switching] re: 'Biracial'

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  • Kerim Friedman
    A tale (probably apocryphal, but surly many have experienced similar situations) recounted to me at a conference: A Western historian fluent in the local
    Message 1 of 19 , Feb 15, 2002
      A tale (probably apocryphal, but surly many have experienced similar
      situations) recounted to me at a conference:

      A Western historian fluent in the local dialect of a particular region of
      Canton province in China goes trekking through the countryside. Losing his
      way, he asks two farmers for directions to the village of Guilin (I forget
      the exact village from the story, but Guilin will do). He uses the local
      dialect. They stare at him with blank expressions. No reaction whatsoever,
      even as he rephrases the question. Finally, as he gives up, turns around,
      and walks away, he overhears one farmer say to the other: "Funny, it sounded
      *just like* he was asking for directions to Guilin ..."

      kerim


      On 2/15/02 10:57 AM, "Harold F. Schiffman" <haroldfs@...>
      wrote:

      > Tim et al.,
      >
      > The more I think about this topic, the more it seems to me that visual
      > cues are often involved in code-switching, and visual cues that involve
      >
      > (a) what people look like, and
      > (b) what some society thinks people ought to look like in order to
      > understand/use/function in a particular linguistic code
      >
      > are certainly involved in code switching.
      >
      > Example: when I am in India, and try to speak Tamil to people there, I
      > often get the following reactions:
      >
      > a. people refuse to believe I am speaking Tamil and answer in
      > English, often asking for clarification.
      >
      > b. people recognize that I am speaking Tamil, but burst out
      > laughing, and answer in English with words like "Oh, do you speak
      > Tamil?"
      >
      > c. people recognize that I am speaking Tamil but then want to
      > discuss how, where, why etc. I learned it
      >
      > d. people react angrily, saying things like "do you think I don't
      > know English?! I am an educated person!"
      >
      > When I speak Tamil on the telephone to strangers, e.g. to make a
      > reservation for a train or other travel, I get no reactions: no questions
      > about who I am or why I am speaking Tamil. Then when I go to the travel
      > agency to get the tickets, there is disbelief, lack of comprehension. Or,
      > in one case, the same person who spoke Tamil on the phone then informed me
      > that he was a Telugu speaker, and didn't want to speak Tamil with me. I
      > mollified him by babbling a few words of Telugu. (Madras has, by some
      > counts, a population of perhaps 40% Telugu speakers.)
      >
      > The visual cues here are paramount, and I'm told this happens in Japan as
      > well. The only people who don't give me a hard time are monolinguals. I
      > should also note that in Singapore, where I would expect people to have
      > even *less* expectation that a white foreigner would speak Tamil, I never
      > get any flak. People just answer in Tamil, no problem. In Malaysia,
      > however, when I spoke Tamil to an immigration agent at the airport, she
      > replied (in English) "You sound just like my Granny!" I guess that means
      > sort of old-fashioned.
      >
      > Sometimes, therefore, if the encounter is going to be short and I don't
      > feel like telling my life story, I just avoid speaking Tamil and use
      > English instead.
      >
      > Hal Schiffman
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > On Fri, 15 Feb 2002, Tim Greer wrote:
      >
      >> Thanks Martina,
      >>
      >> I would hope that my topic is of relevance to the growing number of
      >> international families, as well as for those of us who work and live on
      >> (increasingly common)intercultural borders.
      >>
      >> Certainly, apart from Rampton's work, there have been a number of articles
      >> recently looking at the link between 'race' (and/or ethnicity) and
      >> codeswitching including those below by Bailey and Lo.
      >>
      >> Bailey, B. (2000a). Social/interactional functions of code switching among
      >> Dominican Americans. Pragmatics, 10(2), 165-193.
      >>
      >> Bailey, B. (2000b). Language and negotiation of ethnic/racial identity among
      >> Dominican Americans. Language in Society, 29(4), 555-582.
      >>
      >> Bailey, B. (2001). The Language of Multiple Identities among Dominican
      >> Americans. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 10(2), 190-223.
      >>
      >> Lo, A. (1999). Codeswitching, speech community membership, and the
      >> construction of ethnic identity. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 3(4),
      >> 461-479.
      >>
      >> If anybody can recommend any similar "required reading" for this subject,
      >> I'd be very glad to hear them.
      >>
      >> However, personally I joined this list to learn more about Conversational
      >> Analytic approaches to CS, so I am hoping to hear more discussion of that
      >> aspect of my dissertation in future posts. Please remember that I am just
      >> starting out on my thesis so I really have far more questions than answers
      >> at this stage.
      >>
      >> Tim
      >>
      >> ----- Original Message -----
      >> From: "Martina" <lutzmartina_@...>
      >>
      >>
      >>> Tim,
      >>> I found your explanations very interesting and totally appropriate for
      >> this discussion group. Please keep us up-to-date with your findings.
      >>> Martina
      >>> ----- Original Message -----
      >>> From: Jan Blommaert
      >>>>
      >>> and now back to relevant issues.
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> To Post a message: code-switching@yahoogroups.com
      >> To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
      >> code-switching-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >> Web page: http//groups.yahoo.com/group/code-switching
      >>
      >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >>
      >>
      >
      >
      >
      > To Post a message: code-switching@yahoogroups.com
      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
      > code-switching-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      > Web page: http//groups.yahoo.com/group/code-switching
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >

      --
      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
      P. Kerim Friedman

      kerim.mail@...
      http://kerim.oxus.net
      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    • Dan Villa
      Another anecdote: in the southern part of New Mexico where I live, most Spanish speakers are dark complected-- I am not. In any number of instances I ve been
      Message 2 of 19 , Feb 15, 2002
        Another anecdote: in the southern part of New Mexico where I live, most
        Spanish speakers are dark complected-- I am not. In any number of
        instances I've been in line in the grocery store with my sons, who are
        very fair. I speak only Spanish with them, and as often happens they want
        a last minute treat, so I'm carrying on (in Spanish)"No, no, put that
        back, no I won't buy it for you it'll rot your teeth, you can have an
        apple when you get home etc. etc." and the checker and bagger will look at
        me with astonishment and ask "es ud. mexicano?" (are you Mexican?) to
        which I reply "pos si que otra cosa voy a ser" (sure, what else would I
        be?) There is always a moment of disconnect, and then invariably one or
        the other will say "oh, I have a
        cousin/uncle/father/brother/brother-in-law/ that looks just like you!" I
        should add here that I speak a local variety of Spanish, which is
        evidently being keyed on. I also drive a 1947 Chevy pickup, a popular
        "fixer-upper" around here. Invariably, people who ask me what year it is,
        if I have an extra fender, bumper, door, whatever, will address me in
        Spanish, or codeswitch between Spanish and English, without asking me
        first if I know Spanish. Anybody know of any studies on the relationship
        between ethnic identity and pickup trucks?

        Daniel

        On Fri, 15 Feb 2002, Harold F. Schiffman wrote:

        > Tim et al.,
        >
        > The more I think about this topic, the more it seems to me that visual
        > cues are often involved in code-switching, and visual cues that involve
        >
        > (a) what people look like, and
        > (b) what some society thinks people ought to look like in order to
        > understand/use/function in a particular linguistic code
        >
        > are certainly involved in code switching.
        >
        > Example: when I am in India, and try to speak Tamil to people there, I
        > often get the following reactions:
        >
        > a. people refuse to believe I am speaking Tamil and answer in
        > English, often asking for clarification.
        >
        > b. people recognize that I am speaking Tamil, but burst out
        > laughing, and answer in English with words like "Oh, do you speak
        > Tamil?"
        >
        > c. people recognize that I am speaking Tamil but then want to
        > discuss how, where, why etc. I learned it
        >
        > d. people react angrily, saying things like "do you think I don't
        > know English?! I am an educated person!"
        >
        > When I speak Tamil on the telephone to strangers, e.g. to make a
        > reservation for a train or other travel, I get no reactions: no questions
        > about who I am or why I am speaking Tamil. Then when I go to the travel
        > agency to get the tickets, there is disbelief, lack of comprehension. Or,
        > in one case, the same person who spoke Tamil on the phone then informed me
        > that he was a Telugu speaker, and didn't want to speak Tamil with me. I
        > mollified him by babbling a few words of Telugu. (Madras has, by some
        > counts, a population of perhaps 40% Telugu speakers.)
        >
        > The visual cues here are paramount, and I'm told this happens in Japan as
        > well. The only people who don't give me a hard time are monolinguals. I
        > should also note that in Singapore, where I would expect people to have
        > even *less* expectation that a white foreigner would speak Tamil, I never
        > get any flak. People just answer in Tamil, no problem. In Malaysia,
        > however, when I spoke Tamil to an immigration agent at the airport, she
        > replied (in English) "You sound just like my Granny!" I guess that means
        > sort of old-fashioned.
        >
        > Sometimes, therefore, if the encounter is going to be short and I don't
        > feel like telling my life story, I just avoid speaking Tamil and use
        > English instead.
        >
        > Hal Schiffman
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > On Fri, 15 Feb 2002, Tim Greer wrote:
        >
        > > Thanks Martina,
        > >
        > > I would hope that my topic is of relevance to the growing number of
        > > international families, as well as for those of us who work and live on
        > > (increasingly common)intercultural borders.
        > >
        > > Certainly, apart from Rampton's work, there have been a number of articles
        > > recently looking at the link between 'race' (and/or ethnicity) and
        > > codeswitching including those below by Bailey and Lo.
        > >
        > > Bailey, B. (2000a). Social/interactional functions of code switching among
        > > Dominican Americans. Pragmatics, 10(2), 165-193.
        > >
        > > Bailey, B. (2000b). Language and negotiation of ethnic/racial identity among
        > > Dominican Americans. Language in Society, 29(4), 555-582.
        > >
        > > Bailey, B. (2001). The Language of Multiple Identities among Dominican
        > > Americans. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 10(2), 190-223.
        > >
        > > Lo, A. (1999). Codeswitching, speech community membership, and the
        > > construction of ethnic identity. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 3(4),
        > > 461-479.
        > >
        > > If anybody can recommend any similar "required reading" for this subject,
        > > I'd be very glad to hear them.
        > >
        > > However, personally I joined this list to learn more about Conversational
        > > Analytic approaches to CS, so I am hoping to hear more discussion of that
        > > aspect of my dissertation in future posts. Please remember that I am just
        > > starting out on my thesis so I really have far more questions than answers
        > > at this stage.
        > >
        > > Tim
        > >
        > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > From: "Martina" <lutzmartina_@...>
        > >
        > >
        > > > Tim,
        > > > I found your explanations very interesting and totally appropriate for
        > > this discussion group. Please keep us up-to-date with your findings.
        > > > Martina
        > > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > > From: Jan Blommaert
        > > > >
        > > > and now back to relevant issues.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > To Post a message: code-switching@yahoogroups.com
        > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
        > > code-switching-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        > > Web page: http//groups.yahoo.com/group/code-switching
        > >
        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        > To Post a message: code-switching@yahoogroups.com
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
        > code-switching-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        > Web page: http//groups.yahoo.com/group/code-switching
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
      • Monica Heller
        My sense from the various postings here is actually that, perhaps inadvertently, we have identified something which actually does seem to be relevant in ways
        Message 3 of 19 , Feb 15, 2002
          My sense from the various postings here is actually that, perhaps
          inadvertently, we have identified something which actually does seem to be
          relevant in ways we haven't paid much attention to really (not that there
          aren't other things that are worth thinking about of course) and that
          might bear further inspection. I bet many of us have had experiences
          similar to those being reported here; and I would add to this, in support
          of what I understand to be Celso's point, that phenotype turns out to be a
          highly culturally constructed thing (e.g. people in Montreal are always
          claiming to be able to (literally) see the difference between the
          categories of people relevant there, differences which would get lumped
          together under "white" in other circumstances). And in the 19th and early
          20th century, and even today for some people, these categories are
          understood as "races". So the issue here seems to be the relationship
          between socially relevant categories, the ideologies which legitimate
          them, and the practices which serve to reproduce or contest them. Among
          these practices, both "visibility" and language (seeing and hearing?).
          Ideological constraints on codeswitching, if you like. And I suspect that
          part of the answer to the question that Jan poses actually lies somewhere
          in that direction. Monica

          code-switching@yahoogroups.com writes:
          >Clarification: I didn't intend to be judgmental nor divide the world into
          >those who accept race as a relevant issue versus those who don't. But now
          >that the issue has been cleared, let's move on. In the field of CS there
          >are
          >lots of pressing questions nowadays. For instance: where do you locate the
          >boundaries of 'mixing' - can a 'pure variety' (a monolingual one) be
          >'mixed', e.g. at a pragmatic level. And so on.
          >Jan Blommaert
          >----- Original Message -----
          >From: "Martina" <lutzmartina_@...>
          >To: <code-switching@yahoogroups.com>
          >Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2002 10:11 PM
          >Subject: Re: [code-switching] re: 'Biracial'
          >
          >
          >> Tim,
          >> I found your explanations very interesting and totally appropriate for
          >this discussion group. Please keep us up-to-date with your findings.
          >> Martina
          >> ----- Original Message -----
          >> From: Jan Blommaert
          >> To: code-switching@yahoogroups.com
          >> Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2002 11:37 PM
          >> Subject: Re: [code-switching] re: 'Biracial'
          >>
          >>
          >> and now back to relevant issues.
          >>
          >> ----- Original Message -----
          >> From: "Tim Greer" <tim@...>
          >> To: <code-switching@yahoogroups.com>
          >> Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2002 4:04 AM
          >> Subject: [code-switching] re: 'Biracial'
          >>
          >>
          >> > Thanks to everyone who responded to my post. The discussion has been
          >very
          >> > valuable. I get the feeling it is starting to lead a little away
          >from
          >the
          >> > topic of codeswitching, so IÅfd like to take this opportunity to
          >say a
          >few
          >> > final words and leave it at that.
          >> >
          >> > Firstly, as you might anticipate, discussion of ÅeraceÅf has been
          >one
          >of
          >> the
          >> > hardest issues I have had to deal with in preparing my proposal. I
          >guess I
          >> > should have mentioned that my 1 year-old son is part-Japanese, so
          >that
          >> > explains some of my bias in investigating this topic. I am
          >interested
          >in
          >> how
          >> > such kids feel about themselves as they grow older and become aware
          >of
          >> their
          >> > differences in what can otherwise be a fairly homogenous community.
          >In
          >> > essence, I want to investigate the link between hybrid language and
          >hybrid
          >> > identity, particularly when the speakers invoke it as a mark of
          >in-group
          >> > affiliation.
          >> >
          >> >
          >> > Of course, I realise that 'race' is an outmoded classification and
          >as
          >a
          >> > 'science fiction' it has little or no genetic basis in fact.
          >However,
          >as a
          >> > social construct, phenotypic traits are still very much the reason
          >behind
          >> > many of the judgments people make about others. Naturally we change
          >the
          >> way
          >> > we talk according who we are speaking to: I use goo-goo talk for
          >babies, I
          >> > try not to swear in front of women, and I speak louder for my best
          >friend,
          >> > who is partially deaf. These are all aspects of language choice that
          >are
          >> > based on visible physical traits.
          >> >
          >> >
          >> > That doesnÅft make it right but it is something that children from
          >> > ÅeinterracialÅf families must deal with daily. The participants in
          >my
          >> pilot
          >> > study reported that strangers (say on the train) spoke to them in
          >English
          >> > based on their physical features.
          >> >
          >> >
          >> > I think that certainly a part of any hybrid identity involves a
          >> 'bicultural'
          >> > worldview, but it is a hidden (or hideable) side of one's
          >personality.
          >> Those
          >> > with 'monoracial' features are either able to show their
          >'bicultural'
          >> side,
          >> > or try to 'pass' as one of the minority culture at will. So-called
          >> > 'biracial' people do not have this luxury.
          >> >
          >> >
          >> > As Hal mentioned, I hedged the word 'biracial' in my posting by
          >placing it
          >> > in single quotations, and I have done the same in my proposal. I do
          >this
          >> not
          >> > only for the problematic connotations that the word 'race' holds,
          >but
          >also
          >> > for its forced binary notions of a socially-constructed duality. In
          >Japan,
          >> > these kids are usually called ÅehalfÅf, although some parents have
          >started
          >> > to use the term ÅedoubleÅf. Neither these nor ÅebiÅf or 'dual' can
          >> > adequately express the ways in which ÅebiracialÅf kids (and perhaps
          >the
          >> rest
          >> > of us too) continually (re)adjust a multifaceted sense of who they
          >are,
          >> > depending on the situation they find themselves in.
          >> >
          >> > I don't intend to use the word 'biracial' to refer to particular
          >> > individuals, and I don't think it has any real currency among most
          >kids in
          >> > international families in Japan. I would much prefer to call my son
          >> > Japanese-Australian, but this doesn't work as a label for a group of
          >kids
          >> > from diverse parental backgrounds like the one I will be studying in
          >my
          >> > dissertation.
          >> >
          >> >
          >> > However, I am also aware that ÅebiracialÅf is commonly used in the
          >> > literature, especially in the United States. A quick search of ERIC
          >came
          >> up
          >> > with 179 hits for journal articles in education which use the word
          >> > ÅebiracialÅf. In order to make my work accessible to others who want
          >to
          >> > research in a similar area in the future, I will have to work with
          >> existing
          >> > terms to some extent.
          >> >
          >> >
          >> > Celso, I have read RamptonÅfs work and it has been very useful. I
          >think
          >> many
          >> > of his findings will be applicable to my situation at an
          >International
          >> > school in Japan. I guess I could follow his lead and use the word
          >> > ÅeethnicityÅf in the subtitle of the thesis and leave discussion of
          >Åerace
          >> Åf
          >> > to the main body where it is less likely to cause confusion.
          >> >
          >> >
          >> > For now, I thank you all for your responses and look forward to
          >further
          >> > posts on issues closer related to codeswitching.
          >> >
          >> >
          >> > Tim
          >> >
          >> >
          >> >
          >> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >> >
          >> >
          >> >
          >> > To Post a message: code-switching@yahoogroups.com
          >> > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
          >> > code-switching-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >> > Web page: http//groups.yahoo.com/group/code-switching
          >> >
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          >http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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          >> >
          >> >
          >>
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          Monica Heller
          CREFO, OISE
          Université de Toronto
          252 Bloor Ouest
          Toronto (Ontario) M5S 1V6
          Canada
        • janilta@j.email.ne.jp
          Hal, Thanks for this interesting message about the attitude towards foreign speakers in Tamil (the booklet Assimil de poche for Tamil language has
          Message 4 of 19 , Feb 16, 2002
            Hal,

            Thanks for this interesting message about the attitude towards foreign
            speakers in Tamil (the booklet 'Assimil de poche' for Tamil language has
            paradoxally more or less the same introduction note for the learner so
            that he/she does not feel too disappointed when trying to speak the
            language for real and gets such reaction perhaps).

            I may add though that this attitude is not so common anymore in Japan,
            at least in the big cities and there are many situations where the
            foreigner is expected to understand the spoken language (but often not
            the written language). In fact, unlike after the War, most foreigners
            living in Japan seem now to be able to understand at least simple
            conversations in Japanese (of course, the percentage is much lower among
            the English-speaking population than among the economic migrants !).
            Of course, the experience of someone trying to speak with you in (often
            bad) English in a situation where your Japanese is sufficient/or even if
            you're able to speak Japanese, still occurs from time to time...

            But I had often this kind of experience in HongKong where one often gets
            'but I do speak English (generally implied)' or 'what don't you learn
            Mandarin ?' when trying to say something in Cantonese (except with
            monolinguals here again).

            Regards, Yann, Tokyo
          • band mas
            hi there every one 1st i wana thank all the people who are in this group. i really need help on the subject of code switching, why is it and why does it
            Message 5 of 19 , Feb 17, 2002
              hi there every one
              1st i wana thank all the people who are in this group.
              i really need help on the subject of code switching,
              why is it and why does it happen.
              i am a post graduate and i am conducting a small
              research about this subject and i am quite new to the
              internet
              so if dont minde can some help me to look for sources.
              ps. i am doing the research on
              code switching from arabic to english

              thank you all
              bander, riyadh. saudia arabia

              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!?
              Yahoo! Sports - Coverage of the 2002 Olympic Games
              http://sports.yahoo.com
            • Martina
              Harold, Interesting that you say that monolinguals do not present this problem. Could it be that the visual cues activate a certain language? From the
              Message 6 of 19 , Feb 17, 2002
                Harold,
                Interesting that you say that monolinguals do not present this problem. Could it be that the visual cues 'activate' a certain language? From the viewpoint of the bilingual, this problem is very hard, maybe impossible in certain situations, to overcome. That is why people become emotional, ie burst out laughing or become angry.
                For instance, I recall an incident where a German friend of mine suddenly switched to English during a conversation. I presume that he wanted to practise his English.... I could not switch. The words, sentence structures, sounds of English were, somehow, inaccessible to me in this situation. I felt bewildered, confused and embarrassed. After all, I speak English fluently.
                I presume that my inhibition could have been overcome had I persevered, after half an hour or so of stuttering.
                But why is this code-switching connected with such strong emotions?
                Martina


                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Harold F. Schiffman
                To: code-switching@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2002 2:57 AM
                Subject: Re: [code-switching] re: 'Biracial'


                Tim et al.,

                The more I think about this topic, the more it seems to me that visual
                cues are often involved in code-switching, and visual cues that involve

                (a) what people look like, and
                (b) what some society thinks people ought to look like in order to
                understand/use/function in a particular linguistic code

                are certainly involved in code switching.

                Example: when I am in India, and try to speak Tamil to people there, I
                often get the following reactions:

                a. people refuse to believe I am speaking Tamil and answer in
                English, often asking for clarification.

                b. people recognize that I am speaking Tamil, but burst out
                laughing, and answer in English with words like "Oh, do you speak
                Tamil?"

                c. people recognize that I am speaking Tamil but then want to
                discuss how, where, why etc. I learned it

                d. people react angrily, saying things like "do you think I don't
                know English?! I am an educated person!"

                When I speak Tamil on the telephone to strangers, e.g. to make a
                reservation for a train or other travel, I get no reactions: no questions
                about who I am or why I am speaking Tamil. Then when I go to the travel
                agency to get the tickets, there is disbelief, lack of comprehension. Or,
                in one case, the same person who spoke Tamil on the phone then informed me
                that he was a Telugu speaker, and didn't want to speak Tamil with me. I
                mollified him by babbling a few words of Telugu. (Madras has, by some
                counts, a population of perhaps 40% Telugu speakers.)

                The visual cues here are paramount, and I'm told this happens in Japan as
                well. The only people who don't give me a hard time are monolinguals. I
                should also note that in Singapore, where I would expect people to have
                even *less* expectation that a white foreigner would speak Tamil, I never
                get any flak. People just answer in Tamil, no problem. In Malaysia,
                however, when I spoke Tamil to an immigration agent at the airport, she
                replied (in English) "You sound just like my Granny!" I guess that means
                sort of old-fashioned.

                Sometimes, therefore, if the encounter is going to be short and I don't
                feel like telling my life story, I just avoid speaking Tamil and use
                English instead.

                Hal Schiffman




                On Fri, 15 Feb 2002, Tim Greer wrote:

                > Thanks Martina,
                >
                > I would hope that my topic is of relevance to the growing number of
                > international families, as well as for those of us who work and live on
                > (increasingly common)intercultural borders.
                >
                > Certainly, apart from Rampton's work, there have been a number of articles
                > recently looking at the link between 'race' (and/or ethnicity) and
                > codeswitching including those below by Bailey and Lo.
                >
                > Bailey, B. (2000a). Social/interactional functions of code switching among
                > Dominican Americans. Pragmatics, 10(2), 165-193.
                >
                > Bailey, B. (2000b). Language and negotiation of ethnic/racial identity among
                > Dominican Americans. Language in Society, 29(4), 555-582.
                >
                > Bailey, B. (2001). The Language of Multiple Identities among Dominican
                > Americans. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 10(2), 190-223.
                >
                > Lo, A. (1999). Codeswitching, speech community membership, and the
                > construction of ethnic identity. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 3(4),
                > 461-479.
                >
                > If anybody can recommend any similar "required reading" for this subject,
                > I'd be very glad to hear them.
                >
                > However, personally I joined this list to learn more about Conversational
                > Analytic approaches to CS, so I am hoping to hear more discussion of that
                > aspect of my dissertation in future posts. Please remember that I am just
                > starting out on my thesis so I really have far more questions than answers
                > at this stage.
                >
                > Tim
                >
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: "Martina" <lutzmartina_@...>
                >
                >
                > > Tim,
                > > I found your explanations very interesting and totally appropriate for
                > this discussion group. Please keep us up-to-date with your findings.
                > > Martina
                > > ----- Original Message -----
                > > From: Jan Blommaert
                > > >
                > > and now back to relevant issues.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > To Post a message: code-switching@yahoogroups.com
                > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                > code-switching-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                > Web page: http//groups.yahoo.com/group/code-switching
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >


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                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • linguaffix
                ... seem to be ... there ... that ... Who does we cover, Monica? Some of us had identified that something long ago...Good to see someone has put it in the
                Message 7 of 19 , Feb 17, 2002
                  --- In code-switching@y..., "Monica Heller" <mheller@o...> wrote:
                  > My sense from the various postings here is actually that, perhaps
                  > inadvertently, we have identified something which actually does
                  seem to be
                  > relevant in ways we haven't paid much attention to really (not that
                  there
                  > aren't other things that are worth thinking about of course) and
                  that
                  > might bear further inspection.

                  Who does 'we' cover, Monica? Some of us had identified
                  that 'something' long ago...Good to see someone has put it in the
                  techical (and in-group) jargon for us.
                  Cheers
                  Petek
                • Martina
                  Harold, you are describing a very emotional reaction to code-switching. Is it possible that this lady was - in addition to being disconcerted about the
                  Message 8 of 19 , Feb 21, 2002
                    Harold,
                    you are describing a very emotional reaction to code-switching. Is
                    it possible that this lady was - in addition to being disconcerted about the
                    language you were speaking - in a bad mood about something maybe totally
                    unrelated? She could also have been a Swiss nationalist and really have a
                    severe dislike for the German language (as opposed to their native
                    Schwytzerduetsch).

                    I agree that the emotions connected with code-switching may well have
                    much to do with identity, and this explains the immediacy of the almost
                    existential fear or confusion. I am thinking here also about bilingual
                    children who
                    almost universially refuse to speak their private 'mother tongue' in
                    public.

                    So, the problem may originate as a threat to a person's sense of self (the
                    distinction distant - intimate, self - other) which gets confused,
                    disordered (order being a certain thought-structure which is in turn
                    dependent on language) when someone addresses them in the 'wrong' code.

                    You can see that I am not yet very clear about this myself.

                    Thank you for pointing me towards your materials on your website.

                    Martina






                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Harold F. Schiffman" <haroldfs@...>
                    To: "Martina" <lutzmartina_@...>
                    Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2002 6:16 AM
                    Subject: Re: [code-switching] re: 'Biracial'


                    > Martina,
                    >
                    > I think there's no question but that emotional issues are connected with
                    > particular languages somehow; a language 'conveys' or acts as a vehicle
                    > for (or connects with) a particular language, and I think we know very
                    > little about this.
                    >
                    > I had a similar experience once in Switzerland; I was working in the
                    > library of the Basler Mission, which sent missionaries to India, and
                    > which has interesting archives. When I arrived I checked in with a
                    > particular "Hausmutter" who spoke German with me (since German is my
                    > strongest 2nd language) and we had no problem. Over the weekend, another
                    > "Hausmutter" took her shift, and she appeared in the library where I was
                    > working and spoke very sharply to me in English (I thought), wondering how
                    > I was going to take care of my bill etc. I told her that I thought I had
                    > worked it out with the previous Hausmutter; she left in a huff.
                    >
                    > The next morning I was in the breakfast room with my wife, and this 2nd
                    > Hausmutter again addressed me in English and asked how long I was planning
                    > to stay. I answered in German that we were going to go to Freiburg for
                    > the day but would be back in the evening. She replied (in English): "Why
                    > are you speaking German? I spoke to you in English." I answered (in
                    > German) "Wir sind in der deutschen Schweiz; ich denke, man kann hier
                    > Deutsch sprechen." She then asked, in English of course "Who are you? Why
                    > are you speaking German?"
                    >
                    > [I think the question of identity is clear here: who are you? what is
                    > your identity? why are you speaking a particular language as an expression
                    > of your identity?]
                    >
                    > I answered, again in German, that I was/am a German-American and felt
                    > like I could speak any language that was appropriate under the
                    > circumstances. She then replied, with great anger (in English) "I hate
                    > the Germans! I hate the German language!" and stomped out. (This seemed
                    > very strange to me and still does, coming from an employee of a religious
                    > organization, but whatever.)
                    >
                    > Her reaction was of course very extreme, and my wife looked at me and
                    > asked what I could possibly have said to her to make her so angry. I
                    > could only say that my great crime was to speak German when she thought I
                    > shouldn't. Code-switching was inappropriate for me, at least, in her
                    > eyes. (What she would have done with an actual German I don't know.)
                    >
                    > Hal Schiffman
                    >
                    > By the way, I have some materials on my website that I use for pedagogy on
                    > this issue (not necessarily related to code-switching).
                    >
                    > http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/540/handouts/emotion/emotion2.html
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > On Mon, 18 Feb 2002, Martina wrote:
                    >
                    > > Harold,
                    > > Interesting that you say that monolinguals do not present this problem.
                    Could it be that the visual cues 'activate' a certain language? From the
                    viewpoint of the bilingual, this problem is very hard, maybe impossible in
                    certain situations, to overcome. That is why people become emotional, ie
                    burst out laughing or become angry.
                    > > For instance, I recall an incident where a German friend of mine
                    suddenly switched to English during a conversation. I presume that he wanted
                    to practise his English.... I could not switch. The words, sentence
                    structures, sounds of English were, somehow, inaccessible to me in this
                    situation. I felt bewildered, confused and embarrassed. After all, I speak
                    English fluently.
                    > > I presume that my inhibition could have been overcome had I persevered,
                    after half an hour or so of stuttering.
                    > > But why is this code-switching connected with such strong emotions?
                    > > Martina
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > ----- Original Message -----
                    > > From: Harold F. Schiffman
                    > > To: code-switching@yahoogroups.com
                    > > Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2002 2:57 AM
                    > > Subject: Re: [code-switching] re: 'Biracial'
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Tim et al.,
                    > >
                    > > The more I think about this topic, the more it seems to me that visual
                    > > cues are often involved in code-switching, and visual cues that
                    involve
                    > >
                    > > (a) what people look like, and
                    > > (b) what some society thinks people ought to look like in order to
                    > > understand/use/function in a particular linguistic code
                    > >
                    > > are certainly involved in code switching.
                    > >
                    > > Example: when I am in India, and try to speak Tamil to people there,
                    I
                    > > often get the following reactions:
                    > >
                    > > a. people refuse to believe I am speaking Tamil and answer in
                    > > English, often asking for clarification.
                    > >
                    > > b. people recognize that I am speaking Tamil, but burst out
                    > > laughing, and answer in English with words like "Oh, do you
                    speak
                    > > Tamil?"
                    > >
                    > > c. people recognize that I am speaking Tamil but then want to
                    > > discuss how, where, why etc. I learned it
                    > >
                    > > d. people react angrily, saying things like "do you think I
                    don't
                    > > know English?! I am an educated person!"
                    > >
                    > > When I speak Tamil on the telephone to strangers, e.g. to make a
                    > > reservation for a train or other travel, I get no reactions: no
                    questions
                    > > about who I am or why I am speaking Tamil. Then when I go to the
                    travel
                    > > agency to get the tickets, there is disbelief, lack of comprehension.
                    Or,
                    > > in one case, the same person who spoke Tamil on the phone then
                    informed me
                    > > that he was a Telugu speaker, and didn't want to speak Tamil with me.
                    I
                    > > mollified him by babbling a few words of Telugu. (Madras has, by some
                    > > counts, a population of perhaps 40% Telugu speakers.)
                    > >
                    > > The visual cues here are paramount, and I'm told this happens in Japan
                    as
                    > > well. The only people who don't give me a hard time are monolinguals.
                    I
                    > > should also note that in Singapore, where I would expect people to
                    have
                    > > even *less* expectation that a white foreigner would speak Tamil, I
                    never
                    > > get any flak. People just answer in Tamil, no problem. In Malaysia,
                    > > however, when I spoke Tamil to an immigration agent at the airport,
                    she
                    > > replied (in English) "You sound just like my Granny!" I guess that
                    means
                    > > sort of old-fashioned.
                    > >
                    > > Sometimes, therefore, if the encounter is going to be short and I
                    don't
                    > > feel like telling my life story, I just avoid speaking Tamil and use
                    > > English instead.
                    > >
                    > > Hal Schiffman
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > On Fri, 15 Feb 2002, Tim Greer wrote:
                    > >
                    > > > Thanks Martina,
                    > > >
                    > > > I would hope that my topic is of relevance to the growing number of
                    > > > international families, as well as for those of us who work and live
                    on
                    > > > (increasingly common)intercultural borders.
                    > > >
                    > > > Certainly, apart from Rampton's work, there have been a number of
                    articles
                    > > > recently looking at the link between 'race' (and/or ethnicity) and
                    > > > codeswitching including those below by Bailey and Lo.
                    > > >
                    > > > Bailey, B. (2000a). Social/interactional functions of code switching
                    among
                    > > > Dominican Americans. Pragmatics, 10(2), 165-193.
                    > > >
                    > > > Bailey, B. (2000b). Language and negotiation of ethnic/racial
                    identity among
                    > > > Dominican Americans. Language in Society, 29(4), 555-582.
                    > > >
                    > > > Bailey, B. (2001). The Language of Multiple Identities among
                    Dominican
                    > > > Americans. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 10(2), 190-223.
                    > > >
                    > > > Lo, A. (1999). Codeswitching, speech community membership, and the
                    > > > construction of ethnic identity. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 3(4),
                    > > > 461-479.
                    > > >
                    > > > If anybody can recommend any similar "required reading" for this
                    subject,
                    > > > I'd be very glad to hear them.
                    > > >
                    > > > However, personally I joined this list to learn more about
                    Conversational
                    > > > Analytic approaches to CS, so I am hoping to hear more discussion of
                    that
                    > > > aspect of my dissertation in future posts. Please remember that I am
                    just
                    > > > starting out on my thesis so I really have far more questions than
                    answers
                    > > > at this stage.
                    > > >
                    > > > Tim
                    > > >
                    > > > ----- Original Message -----
                    > > > From: "Martina" <lutzmartina_@...>
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > > Tim,
                    > > > > I found your explanations very interesting and totally appropriate
                    for
                    > > > this discussion group. Please keep us up-to-date with your findings.
                    > > > > Martina
                    > > > > ----- Original Message -----
                    > > > > From: Jan Blommaert
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > and now back to relevant issues.
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > To Post a message: code-switching@yahoogroups.com
                    > > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                    > > > code-switching-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    > > > Web page: http//groups.yahoo.com/group/code-switching
                    > > >
                    > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    > > >
                    > > >
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                    > >
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                    > >
                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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                  • n_privitera
                    Hello, I just came across this message exchange and thought I d drop in my 2 cents although I realize that all the postings are quite old and my reply might
                    Message 9 of 19 , Nov 11, 2002
                      Hello,

                      I just came across this message exchange and thought I'd drop in my 2
                      cents although I realize that all the postings are quite old and my
                      reply might not be read at all.

                      There is a very easy explanation for the Hausmutter's outburst (apart
                      from what the other poster suggested, that she might have been
                      aggravated already due to something completely unrelated): the Swiss
                      are still very resentful towards the Germans, and the German language
                      as such is not really spoken in Switzerland. What *is* spoken, in the
                      German-speaking parts of the country, are the various dialects of
                      German (High German). To the Swiss, people who speak High German are
                      obviously connected to Germany, and the Swiss are very careful not to
                      be associated with them. Don't forget that WWII is only a little over
                      half a century old, and the Swiss haven't "cleaned out their closets"
                      yet, so to speak. If you want to talk to a swiss-german speaking
                      person in Switzerland, don't be surprised if they are apprehensive
                      about High German. French, Italian or English might be a better way
                      to go.

                      Cheers,

                      N.


                      > ----- Original Message -----
                      > From: "Harold F. Schiffman" <haroldfs@c...>
                      > To: "Martina" <lutzmartina_@h...>
                      > Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2002 6:16 AM
                      > Subject: Re: [code-switching] re: 'Biracial'
                      >
                      >
                      > > Martina,
                      > >
                      > > I think there's no question but that emotional issues are
                      connected with
                      > > particular languages somehow; a language 'conveys' or acts as a
                      vehicle
                      > > for (or connects with) a particular language, and I think we know
                      very
                      > > little about this.
                      > >
                      > > I had a similar experience once in Switzerland; I was working in
                      the
                      > > library of the Basler Mission, which sent missionaries to India,
                      and
                      > > which has interesting archives. When I arrived I checked in with a
                      > > particular "Hausmutter" who spoke German with me (since German is
                      my
                      > > strongest 2nd language) and we had no problem. Over the weekend,
                      another
                      > > "Hausmutter" took her shift, and she appeared in the library
                      where I was
                      > > working and spoke very sharply to me in English (I thought),
                      wondering how
                      > > I was going to take care of my bill etc. I told her that I
                      thought I had
                      > > worked it out with the previous Hausmutter; she left in a huff.
                      > >
                      > > The next morning I was in the breakfast room with my wife, and
                      this 2nd
                      > > Hausmutter again addressed me in English and asked how long I was
                      planning
                      > > to stay. I answered in German that we were going to go to
                      Freiburg for
                      > > the day but would be back in the evening. She replied (in
                      English): "Why
                      > > are you speaking German? I spoke to you in English." I answered
                      (in
                      > > German) "Wir sind in der deutschen Schweiz; ich denke, man kann
                      hier
                      > > Deutsch sprechen." She then asked, in English of course "Who are
                      you? Why
                      > > are you speaking German?"
                      > >
                      > > [I think the question of identity is clear here: who are you?
                      what is
                      > > your identity? why are you speaking a particular language as an
                      expression
                      > > of your identity?]
                      > >
                      > > I answered, again in German, that I was/am a German-American and
                      felt
                      > > like I could speak any language that was appropriate under the
                      > > circumstances. She then replied, with great anger (in
                      English) "I hate
                      > > the Germans! I hate the German language!" and stomped out. (This
                      seemed
                      > > very strange to me and still does, coming from an employee of a
                      religious
                      > > organization, but whatever.)
                      > >
                      > > Her reaction was of course very extreme, and my wife looked at me
                      and
                      > > asked what I could possibly have said to her to make her so
                      angry. I
                      > > could only say that my great crime was to speak German when she
                      thought I
                      > > shouldn't. Code-switching was inappropriate for me, at least, in
                      her
                      > > eyes. (What she would have done with an actual German I don't
                      know.)
                      > >
                      > > Hal Schiffman
                      > >
                      > > By the way, I have some materials on my website that I use for
                      pedagogy on
                      > > this issue (not necessarily related to code-switching).
                      > >
                      > >
                      http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/540/handouts/emotion/emotion2.html
                    • Harold F. Schiffman
                      Yes, well, I guess my own annoyance about this situation stems from the fact that the world criticizes Americans for their monolingualism, their inability and
                      Message 10 of 19 , Nov 14, 2002
                        Yes, well, I guess my own annoyance about this situation stems from the
                        fact that the world criticizes Americans for their monolingualism, their
                        inability and unwillingness to learn other languages, etc. etc. but when
                        an American then attempts to *speak* a language other than English, like
                        as not, the answer comes back in English. I have sometimes pretended
                        (usually in vain) to be Polish or Icelandic or something, just to get off
                        the idea that things have to be said in English.

                        In that situation I referred to in Basel, up to that point everybody else
                        at the Basler Mission had been just fine speaking German; nobody asked any
                        questions, or objected; and I spent 2 months in Switzerland as a
                        "Gastarbeiter" back in 1958, during which time I hitchhiked across the
                        country speaking German to many drivers who picked me up. Nobody ever
                        responded with the vitriol of the 2nd Hausmutter, and that was 30 years
                        earlier.

                        H. Schiffman

                        On Mon, 11 Nov 2002, n_privitera wrote:

                        > Hello,
                        >
                        > I just came across this message exchange and thought I'd drop in my 2
                        > cents although I realize that all the postings are quite old and my
                        > reply might not be read at all.
                        >
                        > There is a very easy explanation for the Hausmutter's outburst (apart
                        > from what the other poster suggested, that she might have been
                        > aggravated already due to something completely unrelated): the Swiss
                        > are still very resentful towards the Germans, and the German language
                        > as such is not really spoken in Switzerland. What *is* spoken, in the
                        > German-speaking parts of the country, are the various dialects of
                        > German (High German). To the Swiss, people who speak High German are
                        > obviously connected to Germany, and the Swiss are very careful not to
                        > be associated with them. Don't forget that WWII is only a little over
                        > half a century old, and the Swiss haven't "cleaned out their closets"
                        > yet, so to speak. If you want to talk to a swiss-german speaking
                        > person in Switzerland, don't be surprised if they are apprehensive
                        > about High German. French, Italian or English might be a better way
                        > to go.
                        >
                        > Cheers,
                        >
                        > N.
                        >
                        >
                        > > ----- Original Message -----
                        > > From: "Harold F. Schiffman" <haroldfs@c...>
                        > > To: "Martina" <lutzmartina_@h...>
                        > > Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2002 6:16 AM
                        > > Subject: Re: [code-switching] re: 'Biracial'
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > > Martina,
                        > > >
                        > > > I think there's no question but that emotional issues are
                        > connected with
                        > > > particular languages somehow; a language 'conveys' or acts as a
                        > vehicle
                        > > > for (or connects with) a particular language, and I think we know
                        > very
                        > > > little about this.
                        > > >
                        > > > I had a similar experience once in Switzerland; I was working in
                        > the
                        > > > library of the Basler Mission, which sent missionaries to India,
                        > and
                        > > > which has interesting archives. When I arrived I checked in with a
                        > > > particular "Hausmutter" who spoke German with me (since German is
                        > my
                        > > > strongest 2nd language) and we had no problem. Over the weekend,
                        > another
                        > > > "Hausmutter" took her shift, and she appeared in the library
                        > where I was
                        > > > working and spoke very sharply to me in English (I thought),
                        > wondering how
                        > > > I was going to take care of my bill etc. I told her that I
                        > thought I had
                        > > > worked it out with the previous Hausmutter; she left in a huff.
                        > > >
                        > > > The next morning I was in the breakfast room with my wife, and
                        > this 2nd
                        > > > Hausmutter again addressed me in English and asked how long I was
                        > planning
                        > > > to stay. I answered in German that we were going to go to
                        > Freiburg for
                        > > > the day but would be back in the evening. She replied (in
                        > English): "Why
                        > > > are you speaking German? I spoke to you in English." I answered
                        > (in
                        > > > German) "Wir sind in der deutschen Schweiz; ich denke, man kann
                        > hier
                        > > > Deutsch sprechen." She then asked, in English of course "Who are
                        > you? Why
                        > > > are you speaking German?"
                        > > >
                        > > > [I think the question of identity is clear here: who are you?
                        > what is
                        > > > your identity? why are you speaking a particular language as an
                        > expression
                        > > > of your identity?]
                        > > >
                        > > > I answered, again in German, that I was/am a German-American and
                        > felt
                        > > > like I could speak any language that was appropriate under the
                        > > > circumstances. She then replied, with great anger (in
                        > English) "I hate
                        > > > the Germans! I hate the German language!" and stomped out. (This
                        > seemed
                        > > > very strange to me and still does, coming from an employee of a
                        > religious
                        > > > organization, but whatever.)
                        > > >
                        > > > Her reaction was of course very extreme, and my wife looked at me
                        > and
                        > > > asked what I could possibly have said to her to make her so
                        > angry. I
                        > > > could only say that my great crime was to speak German when she
                        > thought I
                        > > > shouldn't. Code-switching was inappropriate for me, at least, in
                        > her
                        > > > eyes. (What she would have done with an actual German I don't
                        > know.)
                        > > >
                        > > > Hal Schiffman
                        > > >
                        > > > By the way, I have some materials on my website that I use for
                        > pedagogy on
                        > > > this issue (not necessarily related to code-switching).
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/540/handouts/emotion/emotion2.html
                        >
                        >
                        >
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                      • peterson
                        It may also be suspicion. In Egypt, English has become the de facto language of social mobility. Most Egyptians in the cosmopolitan parts of the city are
                        Message 11 of 19 , Nov 15, 2002
                          It may also be suspicion.

                          In Egypt, English has become the de facto language of social mobility. Most
                          Egyptians in the cosmopolitan parts of the city are happy enough to hear you
                          speaking Arabic. But they ask you why you bother.

                          Two American students moved out of the American University in Cairo dorms into
                          a low-rent area of Cairo in order to be forced to really work their Arabic in
                          a part of the city no one was likely to speak English. They faced enormous
                          antipathy from locals -- unlike anything they'd experienced previously in
                          Egypt. It turned out that everyone assumed that no one who already spoke
                          English (and thus had the lifestyle it indexes) would bother learning Arabic
                          unless they were going to be spies.

                          Mark Peterson


                          >===== Original Message From code-switching@yahoogroups.com =====
                          >Yes, well, I guess my own annoyance about this situation stems from the
                          >fact that the world criticizes Americans for their monolingualism, their
                          >inability and unwillingness to learn other languages, etc. etc. but when
                          >an American then attempts to *speak* a language other than English, like
                          >as not, the answer comes back in English. I have sometimes pretended
                          >(usually in vain) to be Polish or Icelandic or something, just to get off
                          >the idea that things have to be said in English.
                          >
                          >In that situation I referred to in Basel, up to that point everybody else
                          >at the Basler Mission had been just fine speaking German; nobody asked any
                          >questions, or objected; and I spent 2 months in Switzerland as a
                          >"Gastarbeiter" back in 1958, during which time I hitchhiked across the
                          >country speaking German to many drivers who picked me up. Nobody ever
                          >responded with the vitriol of the 2nd Hausmutter, and that was 30 years
                          >earlier.
                          >
                          >H. Schiffman
                          >
                          >On Mon, 11 Nov 2002, n_privitera wrote:
                          >
                          >> Hello,
                          >>
                          >> I just came across this message exchange and thought I'd drop in my 2
                          >> cents although I realize that all the postings are quite old and my
                          >> reply might not be read at all.
                          >>
                          >> There is a very easy explanation for the Hausmutter's outburst (apart
                          >> from what the other poster suggested, that she might have been
                          >> aggravated already due to something completely unrelated): the Swiss
                          >> are still very resentful towards the Germans, and the German language
                          >> as such is not really spoken in Switzerland. What *is* spoken, in the
                          >> German-speaking parts of the country, are the various dialects of
                          >> German (High German). To the Swiss, people who speak High German are
                          >> obviously connected to Germany, and the Swiss are very careful not to
                          >> be associated with them. Don't forget that WWII is only a little over
                          >> half a century old, and the Swiss haven't "cleaned out their closets"
                          >> yet, so to speak. If you want to talk to a swiss-german speaking
                          >> person in Switzerland, don't be surprised if they are apprehensive
                          >> about High German. French, Italian or English might be a better way
                          >> to go.
                          >>
                          >> Cheers,
                          >>
                          >> N.
                          >>
                          >>
                          >> > ----- Original Message -----
                          >> > From: "Harold F. Schiffman" <haroldfs@c...>
                          >> > To: "Martina" <lutzmartina_@h...>
                          >> > Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2002 6:16 AM
                          >> > Subject: Re: [code-switching] re: 'Biracial'
                          >> >
                          >> >
                          >> > > Martina,
                          >> > >
                          >> > > I think there's no question but that emotional issues are
                          >> connected with
                          >> > > particular languages somehow; a language 'conveys' or acts as a
                          >> vehicle
                          >> > > for (or connects with) a particular language, and I think we know
                          >> very
                          >> > > little about this.
                          >> > >
                          >> > > I had a similar experience once in Switzerland; I was working in
                          >> the
                          >> > > library of the Basler Mission, which sent missionaries to India,
                          >> and
                          >> > > which has interesting archives. When I arrived I checked in with a
                          >> > > particular "Hausmutter" who spoke German with me (since German is
                          >> my
                          >> > > strongest 2nd language) and we had no problem. Over the weekend,
                          >> another
                          >> > > "Hausmutter" took her shift, and she appeared in the library
                          >> where I was
                          >> > > working and spoke very sharply to me in English (I thought),
                          >> wondering how
                          >> > > I was going to take care of my bill etc. I told her that I
                          >> thought I had
                          >> > > worked it out with the previous Hausmutter; she left in a huff.
                          >> > >
                          >> > > The next morning I was in the breakfast room with my wife, and
                          >> this 2nd
                          >> > > Hausmutter again addressed me in English and asked how long I was
                          >> planning
                          >> > > to stay. I answered in German that we were going to go to
                          >> Freiburg for
                          >> > > the day but would be back in the evening. She replied (in
                          >> English): "Why
                          >> > > are you speaking German? I spoke to you in English." I answered
                          >> (in
                          >> > > German) "Wir sind in der deutschen Schweiz; ich denke, man kann
                          >> hier
                          >> > > Deutsch sprechen." She then asked, in English of course "Who are
                          >> you? Why
                          >> > > are you speaking German?"
                          >> > >
                          >> > > [I think the question of identity is clear here: who are you?
                          >> what is
                          >> > > your identity? why are you speaking a particular language as an
                          >> expression
                          >> > > of your identity?]
                          >> > >
                          >> > > I answered, again in German, that I was/am a German-American and
                          >> felt
                          >> > > like I could speak any language that was appropriate under the
                          >> > > circumstances. She then replied, with great anger (in
                          >> English) "I hate
                          >> > > the Germans! I hate the German language!" and stomped out. (This
                          >> seemed
                          >> > > very strange to me and still does, coming from an employee of a
                          >> religious
                          >> > > organization, but whatever.)
                          >> > >
                          >> > > Her reaction was of course very extreme, and my wife looked at me
                          >> and
                          >> > > asked what I could possibly have said to her to make her so
                          >> angry. I
                          >> > > could only say that my great crime was to speak German when she
                          >> thought I
                          >> > > shouldn't. Code-switching was inappropriate for me, at least, in
                          >> her
                          >> > > eyes. (What she would have done with an actual German I don't
                          >> know.)
                          >> > >
                          >> > > Hal Schiffman
                          >> > >
                          >> > > By the way, I have some materials on my website that I use for
                          >> pedagogy on
                          >> > > this issue (not necessarily related to code-switching).
                          >> > >
                          >> > >
                          >> http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/540/handouts/emotion/emotion2.html
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>
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                          >>
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                        • Marian Sloboda
                          ... ... stems from the ... monolingualism, their ... etc. but when ... English, like ... This might be/cause a serious problem, I
                          Message 12 of 19 , Nov 15, 2002
                            > From: "Harold F. Schiffman"
                            <haroldfs@...>
                            >
                            > Yes, well, I guess my own annoyance about this situation
                            stems from the
                            > fact that the world criticizes Americans for their
                            monolingualism, their
                            > inability and unwillingness to learn other languages, etc.
                            etc. but when
                            > an American then attempts to *speak* a language other than
                            English, like
                            > as not, the answer comes back in English.

                            This might be/cause a serious problem, I think. The same
                            behavior has been reported by Tamah Sherman who researches
                            the American community in Czechia, esp. Czech-American
                            families and couples. Czechs often respond in English (or
                            more precisely in a mix of English and Czech) to an American
                            who tries to speak Czech. The American then switches to
                            English too. (S)he might not be able to integrate so easily
                            into the Czech society then, as it demotivates the person to
                            use Czech and so to learn it well enough to be able to fully
                            participate in interactions in Czech.

                            Regards,

                            Marian S.
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