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The Multilingual InternetLanguage, Culture, and Communication Online$
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Brenda Danet and Susan C. Herring

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304794

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304794.001.0001

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Language Choice and Code Switching in German-Based Diasporic Web Forums

Language Choice and Code Switching in German-Based Diasporic Web Forums

(p.340) 15 Language Choice and Code Switching in German-Based Diasporic Web Forums
The Multilingual Internet

Jannis Androutsopoulos

Oxford University Press

Migration groups and diasporic communities are important contemporary sites for bi- and multilingual discourse on the Internet, which this chapter explores, taking discussion forums of German-based migrant groups as a case in point. German and home languages (such as Greek, Persian, and Indian languages) are both used on these forums, albeit in proportions depending on the participants, topics, and interaction contexts. Quantitative language choice analysis of a popular Persian discussion forum suggests that the assumed relationship between home-language preference and home-culture topics holds true on a general level, but is challenged by fine-grained analysis of language choice within single threads. Sequential analysis of code-switching on Persian and Greek discussion forums suggests that typical patterns of discourse-functional code-switching are common on these forums. Methodologically, this chapter outlines a unified approach to the study of multilingual computer-mediated discourse, suggesting how to complement qualitative code-switching with quantitative language choice analysis.

Keywords:   bilingualism, diaspora, Greek, home languages, Indian languages, Persian, web forums

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