Figure 1: Self- and other-positioning in the interview setting. SP = self-positioning; OP = other-positioning; dotted lines = potential implicated positionings
Positioning acts are claims to identities. They can be direct and explicit, and indirect and implicit, depending on interpretation and inference. In an interaction, each positioning act is either accepted, partly accepted or rejected by the co-participants. Positioning analysis, then, is concerned with the linguistic and extralinguistic devices that realize positioning acts. The framework of appraisal analysis (Martin/White 2005) allows us to look systematically at the role that evaluation plays in a speaker's positioning practice.
Appraisal analysis has been developed in the framework of Systemic Functional Grammar to account for evaluation in language. It is concerned with the way language is used to evaluate, to adopt stances, to construct textual personas and to manage interpersonal positioning and relationships. It explores how attitudes, judgements and emotive responses are explicitly presented in texts and how they may be more indirectly implied, presupposed or assumed (White 2005).
The term 'appraisal' acts as cover term for the linguistic means by which speakers (and writers) positively or negatively evaluate persons, events, things, states-of-affairs and propositions in order to "express, negotiate and naturalize particular intersubjective and ultimately ideological positions" (White 2005: para. 1). The concept is fundamentally interaction-oriented in that it is assumed that all acts of evaluating in discourse aim at constructing relations of alignment and rapport between the speaker/writer and actual or potential addresses (Martin/White 2005).
Appraisal analysis is concerned with aspects of language and language use that are usually described separately from each other, under the headings of affect, emotivity, evidentiality, modality, intensification, and vague language. With its roots in Systemic Functional Grammar, appraisal analysis works along networks of systems of functional categories. The appraisal system is shown in Figure 2 below. For the present purposes, the focus is on the system of 'attitude', which encompasses the expression of affect and emotivity, i. e. the evaluation of something or somebody in a speaker's discourse through the expression of different types of positive and negative feelings (Figure 3).
Figure 2: Appraisal system network
Figure 3: Appraisal system network: Attitude
Within the appraisal model the expression of an attitude can be categorized as an expression of affect, judgement, or appreciation. Affect refers to the speaker's expression of a positive/negative feeling or affective state towards a person, thing, event, or proposition. Judgement refers to the expression of admiration or criticism towards persons and their behaviour with respect to normality, capability, tenacity, propriety, and veracity. Judgements are based on implicit or explicit, socially sanctioned norms of conventional and expectable behaviour. Finally, appreciation refers to positive or negative assessments of things and phenomena according to an aesthetic value system.
Appraisal can be overt and explicit ("inscribed") or, in the absence of attitudinal lexis, covert and implicit ("invoked") (Martin/White 2005: 61–62). Invoked appraisal is subject to interpretation and inferencing. The interpretation of implicit appraisal is dependent on the so-called reading position of the addressee. The reading position is defined by the set of accessible contextual presuppositions, which are tied to the transportable and situational identities of the addressee, i. e. in the present context particularly the identities of interviewer, researcher, compatriot, fellow migrant. In sum, in an appraisal analysis, implicit or explicit evaluative features in individual propositions are categorized according to the type of evaluation they express in their context of occurrence. In the following section, we will combine positioning analysis and appraisal analysis in order to explain the function of code-switching in talk about absent third parties.
Example (4) Individual interview; male; thirty years in Germany; L1 English; switch into L2
|Int||so what were some other difficulties you had um interacting with German people when you first came here|
|D||I've always been very open (.) very little just little things like (.) you cannot take things back to the store if it's not any good returning things|
|Int||That changed though|
|D||I know and I helped change it the first week back the first week over um I was sitting there with my future wife um that I married 3 years later I think um we opened some cheese up and the cheese was all mouldy- it wasn't s'posed to be it wasn't Danish blue or anything and I couldn't believe it and I said I'll take that back and she says "Ne ist Pech"i you know just a problem just bad luck I said "What do you mean bad luck?" and I said I'm gonna take it back to the store I have the receipt and she said "No-one does that here" and I did it and there was no problem (.) so my wife has sort of a post-war always had a sort of post-war mentality of "Man tut das nicht"ii You don't do that you can't do that when we had we wanted to go to Finland we had the tent I wanted to put the tent up in her parents' yard which was all rented apartments in Bergedorf and "Das kannst du nicht machen"iii you can't put the tent up there because the neighbors would get upset cos it might kill the grass I said "For an HOUR?" so it was my wife telling me things that you shouldn't do because the neighbours wouldn't like it or certain things and I couldn't I couldn't believe that and I did a lot of returning in Germany and I almost made it a sport just because I was told that you couldn't do it (.) but I've I tend to I tend to respect cultures and if something makes sense to me I'll go along with it (.)|
i 'no it's just bad luck'
ii 'you don't do that'
iii 'you can't do that'
The co-occurrence of appraisal and positioning acts is presented in Table 1 below. Talk about third parties occurs as other-positioning (OP) in column (4) and as self- and other-positioning (OP; SP) in column (5). It contrasts with self-referential talk, i. e. self-positioning, by the speaker (SP in column 4).
|Appraisal||Positioning of the speaker ("narrating I/ narrated I")||Positioning of the third party|
|Int1||so what were some other difficulties you had um interacting with German people when you first came here|
|D1||I've always been very open (.)||positive judgement of speaker's propriety||SP|
|D2||very little just little things like (.) you cannot take things back to the store if it's not any good returning things||negative judgement of normality||OP of stores in Germany|
|Int2||That changed though|
|D3||I know and I helped change it the first week back the first week over um I was sitting there with my future wife um that I married 3 years later||positive appreciation of speaker's actions||SP|
|D4||I think um we opened some cheese up and the cheese was all mouldy- it wasn't s'posed to be it wasn't Danish blue or anything and I couldn't believe it||negative affect||SP|
|D5||and I said I'll take that back and she says "Ne ist Pech" you know just a problem just bad luck||negative affect||SP of German wife|
|D6||I said "What do you mean bad luck?" and I said I'm gonna take it back to the store I have the receipt||positive judgement of capacity||SP|
|D7||and she said "No-one does that here"||negative judgement of normality/ propriety||SP of German wife|
|D8||and I did it||positive appreciation of speaker's action||SP|
|D9||and there was no problem||positive judgement of speaker's capability||OP of German wife (implicated)|
|D10||(.) so my wife has sort of a post-war always had a sort of post-war mentality of "Man tut das nicht"||negative judgement of normality||OP of German wife|
|D11||You don't do that you can't do that||negative judgement of normality||OP of German wife|
|D12||when we had we wanted to go to Finland we had the tent I wanted to put the tent up in her parents' yard which was all rented apartments in Bergedorf and "Das kannst du nicht machen"||negative judgement of normality/ propriety||OP by German wife||SP of German wife|
|D13||you can't put the tent up there||negative judgement of normality/ propriety||OP by German wife||SP of German wife|
|D14||because the neighbors would get upset cos it might kill the grass||negative judgement of normality/ propriety||OP of German neighbours|
|D15||I said "For an HOUR?"||negative judgement of normality||SP|
|D16||so it was my wife telling me things that you shouldn't do because the neighbours wouldn't like it or certain things||OP of German wife|
|D17||and I couldn't I couldn't believe that||negative judgement of normality||SP|
|D18||and I did a lot of returning in Germany and I almost made it a sport||positive appreciation of speaker's actions||SP|
|D19||just because I was told that you couldn't do it (.)||OP of German wife|
|D20||but I've I tend to I tend to respect cultures||positive judgement of speaker's propriety||SP|
|D21||and if something makes sense to me I'll go along with it (.)||positive judgement of speaker's propriety||SP|
Table 1: Appraisal and positioning acts. SP = self-positioning; OP = other-positioning; italics = inscribed/invoked appraisal; bold = propositions with code-switching
D's account is the response to the interviewer's question about difficulties in interacting with Germans shortly after his arrival in Germany. The account serves to assess specific social practices in Germany and to put the speaker in relation to them. Specifically, he presents himself as carrier of 'normal' and 'proper' values. To this end, he re-counts experiences of conflicts with Germans which were grounded – in his view – in cross-cultural differences between Germany and the US.
The absent third parties talked about are D's German wife, shops in Germany and the neighbours of D's in-laws in Germany. The interaction between appraisal and positioning acts construct a contrast between American and German ideas of what constitutes 'normal' and 'proper' behaviour and how to react to negative life-experiences ("mouldy cheese"): The interviewee's self-positioning is connected with positive evaluations of the 'normality' of his behaviour. The self-positioning of D's German wife is connected with negative evaluations of German practices in terms of their 'normality'. The other-positioning of third parties (wife, neighbours, shops) is connected with negative evaluations of the third parties' 'normality'. The other-positioning of the interviewee by the third parties is connected with negative evaluations of the 'propriety' of his behaviour.
The code-switches into German occur after an objection by the interviewer ("That changed though", Int2) to a generalized negative evaluation of German stores by the interviewee. At that moment, the interviewer posits herself as knowledgeable about current social practices in Germany and willing to challenge the interviewee's view. The interviewer concurs (D3) and then re-traces his argument by providing specific examples of experiences with Germans in the past, positing the code-switches as quasi verbatim evidence for his assessment.
The contrast which the speaker establishes between German and American practices is emphasized and intensified by the code-switches. At the same time, the code-switches are routine-like, formulaic expressions in German, which have a high recognition value for the interviewer. They are typically associated with the expression of general and binding restrictions on social behaviour, grounded in traditional, conservative, middle-class conceptions of normality and propriety. However, these connotations only work properly between interlocutors who are highly proficient in German and have considerable background knowledge about past and present social structure in Germany. The code-switches presuppose this kind of knowledge in the interviewer and position her as someone who is knowledgeable in this respect, i. e. able to decode the intended meanings.
By locating the evaluative accounts of German third parties in the past, the interviewee avoids extending the contrast between himself as a representative of values that are different from what used to be 'normal' in Germany into the present of the interview encounter. This reduces the contrast between his position and the one of the interviewer and deflects the focus away from potential differences between their transportable identities, which are important moves in the light of the interviewer's initial objection to his evaluation. In sum, through the code-switches the interviewee maximizes the contrast between himself and the third parties and achieves a relatively clear-cut positive-negative categorization of American and German social practices. The culture-specific connotations of the German expressions serve to help the interviewer to arrive at the interpretation of the reported events intended by the interviewee.
Excerpt (5) Individual interview; female; two years in Germany; L1 English; switch into L2
|Int||so have you encountered any other difficulties besides um shopping @@|
|W||I hate shopping here|
|Int||any other um|
|W||um (.) that's a tough qu= I mean (.)|
|Int||or any surprises|
|W||you know everyone says that the Germans are so difficult to get to know and um I would sort of in contrast to the American sort of open the arms and for example neighbourhood in the U.S. it's much more common you know your neighbours you know and you help each other out a lot and you know you move in and all your neighbours come over and bring you welcome gifts and the welcome wagon comes and brings you you know a big basket of things to help you move into the neighbourhood it's this it's a very different neighbourhood kind of thing and here it's not that (.) um we know these are relatives here on this side and they've been tremendously helpful and we know these people here um because they have a daughter that plays with my daughter um but I wouldn't necessarily say that you know we're not good friends and everyone else well they're not well many of them are much older you know still we even had you know our neighbours Martin's uncle threw a party for us in the beginning a little brunch yeah and had a bunch of the neighbours invited but even though we've met them you know it's still sort of like I hardly TALK to them any time and they would never then invite YOU to a party so this concept of having this group of people in the neighbourhood that just because they live near each other they socialize doesn't exist (.) and then (.) it's weird because you do then meet Germans and even with Martin and other relatives or friends that he might have just because they meet someone it doesn't mean that they open up their arms and include me in their social circle you really have to earn that over time over quite a while and once you get a good friend then you're a good friend and you've got parties to go to and things like that but um as an outsider I find that the other outsiders the other Ausländers are much more willing to bring you into their circle because they're here for a lot of them are here for a shorter period of TIME and you know they're looking for friends too and you know you immediately get swept up into a group of people who socialize and want to do things and you know um so you're much faster absorbed into that grouping than you are into the German group which just takes longer and you really really have to work at it|
|Appraisal||Positioning of the speaker ("narrating I/ narrated I")||Positioning of the third party|
|Int1||so have you encountered any other difficulties besides um shopping @@|
|W1||I hate shopping here|
|Int2||any other um|
|W2||um (.) that's a tough qu= I mean (.)|
|Int3||or any surprises|
|W3||you know everyone says that||SP|
|W4||the Germans are so difficult to get to know||negative affect||OP Germans|
|W5||and um I would sort of in contrast to the American sort of open the arms||positive judgement of normality||OP Americans|
|W6||and for example neighbourhood in the U.S. it's much more common you know your neighbours||positive judgement of normality||OP American neighbourhood in the US|
|W7||you know and you help each other out a lot||positive judgement of normality; capability||OP American neighbourhood in the US|
|W8||and you know you move in and all your neighbours come over and bring you welcome gifts||positive judgement of normality||OP American neighbourhood in the US|
|W9||and the welcome wagon comes and brings you you know a big basket of things to help you move into the neighbourhood||positive judgement of normality||OP American neighbourhood in the US|
|W10||it's this it's a very different neighbourhood kind of thing||OP American neighbourhood in the US|
|W11||and here it's not that (.)||negative judgement of normality||OP German neighbourhood|
|W12||um we know these are relatives here on this side and they've been tremendously helpful||positive judgement of capability; positive affect||OP German in-laws|
|W13||and we know these people here um because they have a daughter that plays with my daughter um but I wouldn't necessarily say that you know we're not good friends||negative judgement of normality||SP|
|W14||and everyone else well they're not well many of them are much older you know still we even had you know our neighbours Martin's uncle threw a party for us in the beginning a little brunch yeah and had a bunch of the neighbours invited but even though we've met them you know it's still sort of like I hardly TALK to them any time||negative judgement of normality||SP|
|W15||and they would never then invite YOU to a party||negative judgement of normality||OP German neighbours|
|W16||so this concept of having this group of people in the neighbourhood that just because they live near each other they socialize doesn't exist (.) and then (.) it's weird because you do then meet Germans and even with Martin and other relatives or friends that he might have just because they meet someone it doesn't mean that they open up their arms and include me in their social circle||negative judgement of normality||OP German husband's friends|
|W17||you really have to earn that over time over quite a while||OP Germans|
|W18||and once you get a good friend then you're a good friend and you've got parties to go to and things like that||positive affect||OP by Germans|
|W19||but um as an outsider I find that||SP|
|W20||the other outsiders the other Ausländers are much more willing to bring you into their circle because they're here for a lot of them are here for a shorter period of TIME and you know they're looking for friends too||positive judgement of normality||OP outsiders, foreigners in Germany|
|W21||and you know you immediately get swept up into a group of people who socialize and want to do things||positive affect||OP by outsiders, foreigners in Germany|
|W22||and you know um so you're much faster absorbed into that grouping||positive judgement of normality||OP by outsiders, foreigners in Germany|
|W23||than you are into the German group which just takes longer and you really really have to work at it||negative judgement of normality||OP by German group|
Table 2: Appraisal and positioning acts. SP = self-positioning; OP = other-positioning; italics = inscribed/invoked appraisal; bold = propositions with code-switching
W's account is the response to the interviewer's question about difficulties she encountered after her arrival in Germany. The account, in which the interviewee reports experiences of social inclusion and exclusion, serves to assess socializing conventions and access to social groups in Germany and to put the speaker in relation to these. The third parties invoked for this purpose are Germans in Germany (in general, neighbours, husband's friends and family), Americans in the US, and foreigners in Germany.
The interaction between appraisal and positioning acts constructs the interviewee as an outsider to German society and member of a group of outsiders which contrast favourably with comparable German groups: The third parties occur predominantly in other-positionings by the interviewee. With the exception of the German in-laws, all Germans are associated with negative evaluations regarding the 'normality' of their behaviour. In contrast, the behaviour of Americans in the US is evaluated positively in terms of its overall 'normality'. Americans are also positively evaluated as 'capable'. The behaviour of foreigners in Germany is likewise associated with a positive evaluation of its 'normality'. The interviewee is also other-positioned by third parties, which is connected to both positive negative evaluations in the case of Germans (W18, W23) and throughout positive evaluations in the case of foreigners in Germany (W21/22). Interestingly, the self-positioning of the interviewee is connected to negative evaluations of the normality of her own behaviour in contact with Germans (W13/14).
The code-switch into German occurs in the context of the interviewer's positive evaluation of the 'normality' of the foreigners' behaviour, which at that point in the account contrasts distinctively with the less 'normal' behaviour she reported for the Germans of her acquaintance. The expression Ausländer ('foreigners') carries predominantly negative connotations in German. It conveys meanings of segregation, seclusion of the native majority, and an unwillingness or incapacity to integrate into German society on the part of the people referred to with the term. It can be used to stigmatize foreigners as strangers and aliens in German society. The use of the expression, thus, invokes a particularly pronounced contrast between German natives and foreigners in Germany in general and the Germans and foreigners in the interviewee's account in particular.
The code-switch occurs as a repair to "outsiders". The term 'outsider' refers to a person who does not belong to a particular group and also carries mainly negative connotations, which are, however, not primarily grounded in ethnic or national categories. Through the code-switch the interviewee posits and highlights the national dimension as the reason for being outside and not belonging. It can be assumed that the interviewee knows about the culture-specific connotations of Ausländer and uses the code-switch strategically in the positive evaluation of a group of people which behaves differently, and more 'normal', than comparable German groups in her environment. In other words, the interviewee uses a negative term, which can be used to stigmatize foreigners as 'less normal' than natives, in order to denote a group of foreigners to which she ascribes thoroughly positive and, crucially, 'normal' characteristics. The interviewee uses the term Ausländer further to construct herself as a member of the group of foreigners in Germany. By positioning herself as part of a typically stigmatized group, she creates a stark contrast between herself and Germans in general. For the L1 listener, i. e. the interviewer, the term and the unconventional context in which it is used heightens the contrast between Germans on the one side and Americans and foreigners in Germany on the other.
Excerpt (6) Group interview; five to ten years in the US; L1 German; switch into L1
|B||Yeah maybe but I think you're right I mean talking about everybody in Europe in the Middle Ages it was all horrible there were a lot of brutality and everything but I do think you know I don't know I believe that I believe that it gets passed down you know and that it hasn't faded yet or it's just slowly fading and I think that's why we have a lot of bitterness and fear and guilt and that's what's so toxic to find happiness|
|G||but not so much the young generation, it's more our parents and grandparents of course but I think the side is in general a little more stiff more stiff there are not to say that it's not conservative here in some ways it is but in Germany I think if it comes to living the way Germans live together it's still very conservative so uhm they're less casual about it and so here it's just up to you you know uhm people|
|M||America is much more right wing that Germany is|
|M||in general the bay area of course is different|
|G||Yeah like the Mid West right uhm well I didn't mean to go there but just in general in terms of like you know like in Germany you still find families in they have like Mittagesseni I mean it's still like you don't come to their house you don't disturb there's Mittagsruheii or after a certain time you do not call you don't find I mean|
|M||You do not call between 8 and 8.15|
|G||Yeah so it's|
|G||or you know you know when you have lunchtime and people sometimes in Germany really they ask the guest to leave it|
|G||it's really true I mean I don't wanna (?) on it but it's really family time and uhm and has changed of course so I don't think you would find that here|
|B||My parents [do that too my mom never would invite people over for lunch for|
|G||[ja yeah yeah|
|B||Mittagessen she was really mean go home (?) [it's not|
|G||[(?) They are not trying to be mean, it's just their culture it's just the way they were brought up|
ii period of rest around midday
iii prime time news broadcast
|Appraisal||Positioning of the speaker ("narrating I/ narrated I")||Positioning of the third party|
|B1||Yeah maybe but I think you're right I mean talking about everybody in Europe in the Middle Ages it was all horrible there were a lot of brutality and everything but I do think you know I don't know I believe that I believe that it gets passed down you know and that it hasn't faded yet or it's just slowly fading and I think that's why we have a lot of bitterness and fear and guilt and that's what's so toxic to find happiness|
|G1||but not so much the young generation, it's more our parents and grandparents of course but I think the side is in general a little more stiff more stiff||negative judgement of normality||OP Germans in Germany|
|G2||there are not to say that it's not conservative here in some ways it is||negative appreciation||OP US|
|G3||but in Germany I think if it comes to living the way Germans live together it's still very conservative so uhm||negative judgement of normality||OP Germans in Germany|
|G4||they're less casual about it||negative judgement of normality||OP Germans in Germany|
|G5||and so here it's just up to you you know uhm people||positive appreciation||OP US|
|M1||America is much more right wing than Germany is||negative appreciation||OP US|
|M2||in general the bay area of course is different||positive appreciation||OP US Bay Area|
|G7||Yeah like the Mid West right uhm||negative appreciation||OP US Mid West|
|G8||well I didn't mean to go there but just in general in terms of like you know like in Germany you still find families in they have like Mittagessen||negative judgement of normality||OP Germans in Germany|
|G9||I mean it's still like you don't come to their house you don't disturb there's Mittagsruhe or after a certain time you do not call you don't find I mean||negative judgement of normality||OP Germans in Germany|
|M3||You do not call between 8 and 8.15||negative judgement of normality||OP Germans in Germany|
|G10||Yeah so it's|
|G12||or you know you know when you have lunchtime and people sometimes in Germany really they ask the guest to leave it||negative judgement of normality||OP Germans in Germany|
|G13||It's really true I mean I don't wanna (?) on it but it's really family time and uhm and has changed of course||positive appreciation||OP life in Germany|
|G14||so I don't think you would find that here||negative judgement of normality||OP Germany|
|B2||My parents do that too my mom never would invite people over for lunch for||negative judgement of normality||OP German parent's behaviour|
|B3||Mittagessen she was really meant go home (?) it's not||negative judgement of normality||OP German parent's behaviour|
|G18||(?) They are not trying to be mean,||positive judgement of veracity||OP German parent generation|
|G19||it's just their culture it's just the way they were brought up||negative judgement of capacity; normality||OP German parent generation|
Table 3: Appraisal and positioning acts. SP = self-positioning; OP = other-positioning; italics = inscribed/invoked appraisal; bold = propositions with code-switching
The episode occurs in an extended sequence in which the participants talk in response to the interviewer's question what made them leave Germany. The episode serves to evaluate German society and German cultural practices and present the participants in the interview encounter in literally another time and space. The third parties invoked for this purpose are Germans in Germany, the German parent generation, and the US.
The interviewees' other-positioning of Germans in Germany is connected with predominantly negative evaluations regarding the 'normality' of their behaviour. Normality seems to be assessed on the basis of a consensual American norm assumed to be known by all participants. The other-positioning of the US is primarily associated with positive evaluations. However, some other-positionings of Germans and the US mitigate to a certain degree an otherwise rather black-and-white-like contrastive evaluation of Germans and the US (e. g. "America is much more right-wing" (M1); "they are not trying to be mean" (G18); "it's really family time" (G13) also G2, G7, G19).
The code-switches into German occur in the context of negative evaluations of the 'normality' of German practices. Especially Mittagessen ('lunch') serves to orient the interview participants towards a specific characteristic of German culture, which is presented as iconic for the conservativism and stiffness characterizing life in Germany.3 The code-switches Mittagsruhe (period of rest around midday) and Tagesschau (prime time news broadcast) seem to be used as further evidence for the existence of these cultural characteristics. The expressions are used by three of the interviewees, which suggests that, in their view, at that moment of the interaction, the concepts evoked through the code-switches really characterize Germany and the contrast between Germany and the US. The second use of Mittagessen (B3) is a self-repair for "lunch" (B2). This shows that culture-specific connotations of Mittagessen are important for the speaker. It is the social event Mittagessen and not 'lunch' that is associated with particular types of behaviour that are posited as specifically German.
It is important to stress that, in this case, the culture-specific connotations are essentially group-specific connotations. The functionality of the code-switch is dependent on its power to signal contextual presuppositions, which, in turn, rest upon the assumption that all participants share a particular kind of knowledge about Germany. The connotations of the German expressions crucially drive on a specific perception of Germany by Germans living in the US. In another context, e. g. in a group of Germans in Germany, Mittagessen might not have any of these connotations at all.
The switches serve to create group solidarity and group cohesion through a process of collective remembering the home culture. Through the code-switches, the speakers associate the evaluation of German society and typical behaviour with concepts all other participants know and can relate to. The speakers assume that the participants' transportable identities of 'German immigrants in the US' provide a shared common ground of knowledge about both the US and Germany that provides the same denotational and connotational meanings for the code-switched expressions. Early in the episode, participant G, who uses the code-switches Mittagessen and Mittagsruhe first, tries to describe and characterize differences between life in Germany and in the US in general terms (G1-5). This is met by a challenging objection by participant M (M1). G then re-traces his argument using the code-switches to trigger a process of collective remembering, which results in the collaborative construction of a consensual and unchallenged group opinion about the third party.
The analyses highlight the function of code-switching as a marker of evaluation, the role of evaluative code-switches in speakers' practices of self- and other-positioning in discourse, and the affordances of the sociolinguistic research interview as the communicative context which gives rise to the production of code-switches in the first place.
The analyses further show that often equivalent expressions in English are present in the interviewees' accounts, for example as translations and paraphrases and 'repairables' (Jefferson et al. 1977). The English meanings are present but apparently deemed insufficient for the purpose at hand. Through code-switching, the interviewees take advantage of the communicative effects of the switching between languages itself and the culture-specific connotations of the code-switched expressions. Again, these only become exploitable through the particular constellation of situational and transportable identities both manifest and latent in the individuals present in the interview encounters. The interviewee's code-switches are instances of explicit orientation towards these identities and it is against these identities that the absent third person gains particular markedness.
Code-switching into German puts contrastive focus on the third parties in the interviewees' accounts of their life experiences. The code-switched expressions are 'specific', i. e., for the interviewees, they appear to have highly distinctive indexical and iconic meaning in the context of comparing the home and the host culture. Some of the expressions are rich in culture-specific connotations outside the interview context (Man tut das nicht, Ausländers), while others (Mittagessen) seem to carry culture-specific connotations that are typical for the group in which they are used. On their own, the code-switches are not evaluative or unequivocally connected to positive or negative evaluations.4 They only gain distinctly positive and negative evaluative meaning through their co-occurrence with evaluations of the third parties they are associated with and the positioning of the interviewee in relation to the third parties. In addition, the code-switches emphasize whichever kind of evaluation is expressed by virtue of their signalling capacity, which indicates that specific contextual presuppositions are relevant in utterance interpretation.
The interviewees exploit the presence of multiple identities, the culture-specific connotations of the code-switched expressions and the signalling value of the code-switch itself for three interrelated purposes: First, characterizing third parties in relation to the culture and value systems associated with the language of the code-switch; secondly, presenting the third party to the L1 German interlocutors for acceptance and concurring and sympathetic evaluation; and thirdly, validating and authenticating their potentially contestable subjective evaluations on the basis of an assumed shared common ground. Accordingly, the language mix can be seen as a "performance feature" (Bamberg 1997) of the interviewees' account, which, in the particular situation in which the account is set – i. e. the research interview – helps to achieve the telling itself and their goal in telling. The code-switches 'lure' the interviewer into the interviewees' account to make evaluations of third parties and the interviewees' themselves more palpable and compelling.
Bamberg, Michael G.W. (1996): "Emotion talk(s). The role of perspective in the construction of emotions". In: Niemeier, Susanne/Dirven, René (eds.): The Language of Emotions. Amsterdam, John Benjamin: 209–225.
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1 The terms 'identity', 'social position' and 'role' are used interchangeably here. back
2 In Lucius-Hoene and Deppermann's (2002, 2004) terms the speaker can be either the "narrating I" or an "interactant in the story". The terms "narrating I" and "story" are avoided here because positioning also occurs outside narratives in the interviews. (See Du Bois (2010a) for detailed analyses of story-telling in the interviews.) back
3 Cf. also Du Bois (2009). back
4 With the possible exception of "Ausländers"; see Section 6.2. back
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