Poly-lingual Languaging Among Young Turkish Speakers

J. Normann Jørgensen

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

WS140: Multilingualism and identities across Contexts: Turkish-speaking Youth in Europe

Late modern urban youth, at least in Europe, has developed new ways of expressing identities and negotiating social relations through simultaneous, integrated, and co-ordinated use of linguistic features which traditionally belong to "different languages". The young speakers are poly-lingual in the sense that they do not respect the borders between different sets of features - they even use features from languages of which they know very little (whereas multi-lingual individuals are supposed to "command" several different languages). Obviously such poly-linguistic behavior is able to serve the same purposes as all other kinds of linguistic behavior, inclduing identity representation and negotiations of social relations. Poly-lingual behavior is particularly frequent in oral interaction, but it is not restricted to oral communication. Poly-lingual languaging can also be observed in, e.g., graffiti. This paper will study the development of poly-lingual patterns among a group of Turkish-Danish grade school students from grade 1 through grade 9 of the public school in Denmark and compare with a group of Turkish students from grade 1 through rade 8 of the public school in Turkey. The data are transcribed audio-recorded group conversations among peers (see the International Journal of Bilingualism vol. 7:4 and the Copenhagen Studies in Bilingualism vol. K5). Comparisons will also include Turkish graffiti from cities in Europe and Turkey.

Session: Workshop (part 1)
Multilingualism and identities across Contexts: Turkish-speaking Youth in Europe
Friday, April 4, 2008, 10:30-12:00
room: 07