Forum discussion 2: October 7th – Theoretical approaches: finding common ground

Time zone: Central European Summer Time (CEST)

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3.15-6.15 Forum Discussion 2: Theoretical approaches: finding common ground


Bryan Koronkiewicz (University of Alabama, USA)

Annie Beatty Martinez (McGill University, Canada)

Terje Lohndal (NTNU, Norway)

Nikolay Hakimov (Bamberg University, Germany)

Almeida Jacqueline Toribio (University of Texas, USA)


Ad Backus (Tilburg University, The Netherlands)

Marianne Gullberg (Lund University, Sweden)

Brechje van Osch (UiT, Norway)

Description Forum Discussion 2: Theoretical approaches-finding common ground                               

On the basis of different methods and bilingual populations, various theoretical accounts of code-switching have been developed. Yet, while theories proliferate, cross-fertilization between them remains limited. A continued lack of convergence between these varying theoretical approaches has been has lead to a situation where a “culture of example and counterexample” predominates (Toribio, 2017: 228). Hence, the question that guides these discussions is: how can we better understand the nature of mixed interactions, with a view to creating more accurate models of multilingual language competence? Will a multimethod, comparative approach that integrates linguistic, psycholinguistic and social factors help us draw a distinction between which code-switching patterns are uniform across communities and language combinations, and which patterns are variable?

Responses and discussion of the following questions will guide this second topic:

  1. What theoretical/methodological approach/approaches do you follow?
  2. How much do you know about other approaches/frameworks? Do you take their findings/predictions into account in your own work? If so/not, why?
  3. In your work, have you identified any variation in code-switching either across individuals, across communities or across language combinations? What issues do you encounter in trying to account for the variation, if any?
  4. What advice would you give a beginning researcher of multilingual discourse? i.e. what is the way forward for the field to advance?