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Digital code-switching between Cypriot and Standard Greek: performance and identity play online

Themistocleous, C. ORCID: (2015) Digital code-switching between Cypriot and Standard Greek: performance and identity play online. International Journal of Bilingualism, 19 (3). pp. 282-297. ISSN 1756-6878

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/1367006913512727


Studies of code-switching in writing are very limited in comparison with the numerous investigations of this phenomenon in oral communication. Recent research has revealed that in text-based computer-mediated communication internet users bring into play the various languages available in their linguistic repertoire and, consequently, switch between them. In this case study, I investigate digital code-switching between Cypriot and Standard Greek, the two varieties of Greek spoken on the island of Cyprus. Following Auer’s conversation analytic approach and Gafaranga’s view that conversational structure coexists with social structure, I investigate code-switching in online interactions. The data to be analysed here, unlike those considered in most studies of code-switching, are written data, obtained from channel #Cyprus of Internet Relay Chat. The results suggest that code-switching in writing is influenced not only by macro-sociolinguistic factors, but they are also shaped by the medium- and social-specific characteristics of Internet Relay Chat. This, in turn, allows internet users to gain access to different roles and perform various identities within this online context.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:35868

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