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Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 549–572 | Cite as

Towards a sociolinguistics of superdiversity

  • Angela Creese
  • Adrian Blackledge
Schwerpunkt

Abstract

The notion of ‘superdiversity’ has engaged scholars beyond the field of sociolinguistics. In this paper we propose to shift the gaze to the linguistic, focusing on the ways in which the new diversity becomes the site of negotiations over linguistic resources, and to widen the scope of debate. The ways in which people negotiate access to resources in increasingly diverse societies are changing. Looking at these phenomena through a sociolinguistic lens is key to a developed understanding of superdiverse societies. García proposes the term ‘translanguaging’ to refer to the multiple discursive practices in which multilingual speakers engage in order to make sense of their worlds. Translanguaging goes beyond code-switching, but incorporates it. García points out that multilinguals translanguage to include and facilitate communication with others, but also to construct deeper understandings. Translanguaging includes but extends what others have called language use and language contact among multilinguals. Rather than focusing on the language itself, translanguaging makes it apparent that there are no clear-cut boundaries between the languages of bilinguals. This paper draws on sociolinguistic ethnographic research projects which investigate the linguistic practices of children and young people in and around complementary (community-language) schools, to argue that multilingual young people in English cities access a wide range of semiotic resources in ways which are not bounded as ‘languages’. In developing a sociolinguistics of superdiversity we should look closely at practices of translanguaging, and consider the histories, geographies, and discourses which shape them.

Keywords

Linguistic ethnography Orders of indexicality Sociolinguistics Superdiversity Translanguaging 

Zu einer Soziolinguistik von Superdiversität

Zusammenfassung

Der Begriff der Superdiversität beschäftigt auch Wissenschaftler außerhalb des Feldes der Soziolinguistik. In diesem Beitrag schlagen wir vor, den Blick auf die Frage der Sprache zu richten und sich auf die Wege zu konzentrieren, in denen die neue Diversität zum Raum für Verhandlungen über sprachliche Ressourcen wird. Die Art und Weise, mit der sich Menschen in zunehmend diversifizierten Gesellschaften Zugang zu Ressourcen verschaffen, ändert sich. Ein Zugang zum tieferen Verständnis von superdiversen Gesellschaften eröffnet sich, wenn man solche Phänomene aus soziolinguistischer Perspektive betrachtet. Garcia schlägt den Begriff „Translanguaging“ vor, der auf die multiplen diskursiven Praxen verweist, in denen mehrsprachige Sprecher den Sinn ihrer Welten erfassen. Translanguaging (für das es keinen deutschen Ausdruck gibt; gemeint ist: in Mehrsprachigkeit – sprachübergreifend – agieren) geht über Code Switching im Sinne des Wechselns zwischen Sprachen hinaus, schließt dies aber mit ein. Garcia weist darauf hin, dass Mehrsprachige in dieser Weise agieren, um Kommunikation mit anderen zu erleichtern – aber auch um tieferes Verständnis zu erreichen. Translanguaging schließt ein, und geht gleichzeitig über das hinaus, was als Sprachgebrauch und Sprachkontakt zwischen Mehrsprachigen bezeichnet wird. Statt auf Sprache selbst zu schauen, soll der Begriff verdeutlichen, dass es keine klaren Abgrenzungen zwischen den Sprachen von zwei- oder mehrsprachigen Menschen gibt. – Unser Beitrag berichtet aus soziolinguistisch-ethnographischen Forschungsprojekten, die die sprachlichen Praxen von Kindern und Jugendlichen innerhalb und im Umfeld von sog. community-language schools untersuchen – Schulen also, die neben dem regulären Schulsystem existieren, die oft von privaten Gemeinschaften getragen werden und in denen es um den Unterricht von Minderheitensprachen (community languages) geht. Wir legen dar, dass sich mehrsprachige Jugendliche in englischen Städten eine große Bandbreite von Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten aneignen, die nicht in ‚einer Sprache‘ im traditionellen linguistischen Verständnis aufgehen. Eine Soziolinguistik der Superdiversität sollte die Praxen des Translanguaging einbeziehen und die Geschichten, Geographien und Diskurse berücksichtigen, die sie gestalten.

Schlüsselwörter

Linguistische Ethnographie Ordnungen der Indexikalität Soziolinguisitik Superdiversität Mehrsprachige Praxis 

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Copyright information

© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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