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Colorado Research in Linguistics

Document Type

Working Paper

Abstract

This paper reviews a brief portion of the literature on code switching in sociology, linguistic anthropology, and sociolinguistics, and suggests a definition of the term for sociocultural analysis. Code switching is defined as the practice of selecting or altering linguistic elements so as to contextualize talk in interaction. This contextualization may relate to local discourse practices, such as turn selection or various forms of bracketing, or it may make relevant information beyond the current exchange, including knowledge of society and diverse identities.

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