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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

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Title: 'Ja toch?' Linguistic style, discourse markers and construction of identity by adolescents in Amsterdam
Written By: Gerda H. Schokkin
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Sociolinguistics 11

Recently, across Europe a large amount of attention has been paid to new
language varieties used by adolescents from immigrant backgrounds, often
dubbed ‘ethnolects’. This study focuses on a number of conversations
involving adolescents of a Turkish, Moroccan and Dutch background from
Amsterdam. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to find out
whether the use of discourse particles maar and toch, and linguistic style in a
more general sense, could be related to identity construction.

There are a number of interesting differences between the ethnic groups,
especially in the use of the phrases "je weet toch" and "ja toch"; the first one
is used to a much larger degree by speakers of Turkish and Moroccan
background, whereas the second is completely absent from the Dutch
participants’ speech. However, detailed conversation analysis shows that
what speakers do is not determined by their ethnicity, and speaker agency
plays an important role in identity construction. They use linguistic styles as
tools in order to align or disalign with their interlocutor and/or particular groups
in society. Sometimes they turn to ‘performative’ language use and it remains
unclear whether they voice themselves or others, allowing them to speak out
about socially controversial subjects.

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Subject Language(s): Dutch
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9783862881710
Pages: 100
Prices: Europe EURO 56.20