By Sari Pietikäinen, FinlandAlexandra Jaffe, Long BeachHelen Kelly-Holmes, and Nikolas Coupland
Sociolinguistics from the Periphery "presents a fascinating book about change: shifting political, economic and cultural conditions; ephemeral, sometimes even seasonal, multilingualism; and altered imaginaries for minority and indigenous languages and their users."
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.