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Simultaneity and Bivalency as Strategies in Bilingualism

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Abstract

Influenced by the work of Bakhtin, a sociolinguistics has begun to take shape in recent years that takes multiplicity, hybridity, and simultaneity as key concepts. Such a sociolinguistics should place bi- and multilingual speakers and communities at its center, rather than in their traditional place at the margins. Within the frame of a Bakhtinian concept of simultaneity in language, this article reconsiders translingual phenomena of codeswitching and so-called interference, and brings into focus a relatively understudied third form, here called bivalency. It further considers the ambivalent and simultaneous messages that are communicated in linguistic contact zones, and speakers' simultaneous claims to more than one social identity. There can be analytical advantage in comparing the frequencies, functions, and relationships of these different forms of simultaneity in different political economies of language contact

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