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Journal Articles (Review Article) Journal of Language Contact Year : 2022

Documenting multilingual language practices and the erasure of language boundaries

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Isabelle Léglise

Abstract

Although we know multilingualism is the norm, most previous work has focused on languages as self-contained entities. Research on language contact mostly assumes bounded languages or repertoires: most studies presuppose contact between stable “communities” and the identifiability of specific languages in bilingual (sometimes plurilingual) corpora. Similarly, language annotation in corpus linguistics is based on the principle of univocity of items belonging to specific languages. In this paper, I address the notion of language boundaries, constructed both by linguists and by language users, and consider heterogeneity as a linguistic resource for speakers in their everyday multilingual language practices. First, there is a need for a “shift in focus from linguistic systems toward language users.” Second, there is a need for a solid methodology to reveal the heterogeneity of language practices through the annotation of plurilingual corpora. Ambivalence or play on boundaries is a common characteristic of communication in multilingual contexts that we can document.
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hal-03908274 , version 1 (21-12-2022)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03908274 , version 1

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Isabelle Léglise. Documenting multilingual language practices and the erasure of language boundaries. Journal of Language Contact, In press, 15 (2). ⟨hal-03908274⟩
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