How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.
This study examines the use of English in Switzerland from a multilingual perspective based on a corpus of 400 interviews collected in the German speaking Canton of Zurich. It presents a framework for explaining the linguistic interaction that arises as a result of the use of a «globalizing» language in a multilingual context. It has given the relationships that obtain between the various Swiss national languages a hierarchical character. The proposed Swiss framework indicates – viewed through a macro-sociolinguistic lens – that the present linguistic situation in Switzerland seems to reflect a growing symbiotic relationship between English and the Swiss vernaculars.