Codeswitching auf einem hochdiversen urbanen Wochenmarkt: Kommerz, Kommunikation und Identität

  • Serkan Yüksel
  • İrem Duman


Today's European cities exhibit a great cultural and linguistic diversity. Highly diverse urban areas bring together people from different sociolinguistic backgrounds and thus facilitate intense language contact, with speakers accessing diverse linguistic resources that they creatively use and mix (cf. e. g. Wiese 2020; Otsuji/Pennycook 2010; Pennycook/Otsuji 2015). Such linguistic practices include code-switching.

In previous research on code-switching the focus was on relatively homogeneous settings, mostly bilingual communities (cf. Poplack 2015; Torres Cacoullos/Travis 2015; Bullock/ Toribio 2009). As a part of a larger project, we collected spontaneous speech data through audio and video recordings from a highly diverse street market in Berlin-Neukölln that is popular among locals and tourists, the “Maybachufer-Markt”.

The analysis of our data reveals new insights with respect to sociolinguistic motivations underlying code-switching. In light of commercial intentions, vendors try to switch to a language according to how they construct the customers’ identity (cf. Bucholtz/Hall 2005; Pfaff-Czarnecka 2011). Besides vendors also commodify specific languages or multilingualism (Heller 2010) based on their and others’ language attitudes or they switch to a language for the purpose of maintaining the communication in sales conversations. Correlating these different factors, we will argue that code-switching is used with a commercial motivation in interactions between vendors and customers.

Yüksel, S., & Duman, İrem. (2021). Codeswitching auf einem hochdiversen urbanen Wochenmarkt: Kommerz, Kommunikation und Identität. Linguistik Online, 110(5), 157–192.