Mannheim, Germany

Multilingual Resourcefulness: Forms and Functions of Language Mixing

when 12 June 2019 - 6 July 2019
language English
duration 4 weeks
credits 6 EC
fee EUR 250

This seminar is very much about ourselves as users of different regional dialects, social registers, and of altogether different, mutually unintelligible languages. It deals with the overall linguistic repertoire speakers/writers acquire and employ according to communicative intentions, interlocutors/addressees, context, and other factors. But not only are speakers/writers capable of selecting and sticking to a specific variety – i.e. a ‘monolingual mode’ in the sense of Grosjean (1997 et pass.) – whenever rights and obligations call for this, they may also engage in intensive language mixing. In our class, we will look at mixed speech from both a formal and a functional perspective, and we will discuss the answers sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic research has so far offered to questions such as the following:

- Why do highly proficient bilinguals/multilinguals engage in language mixing?

- Can we identify cross-linguistically similar mixing patterns, could there be “universals” of code-switching, and which models have been proposed to capture competition and cooperation between languages?

- What role do typological aspects and cross-linguistic similarities and contrasts play?

- To what extent are speakers “in control” and aware of their mixing behavior? Does speakers’ attitude towards language mixing get reflected in their specific mixing profile?

- What does language use in bi-/multilingual speakers tell us about attrition and individual language change across the lifetime?

- What is the difference between language mixing in adults and children acquiring two or more simultaneous languages from birth?

Our discussion will be based on data available and/or collected and brought along by participants.

Course leader

Prof. Rosemarie Tracy

Target group

Undergraduate Students

Fee info

EUR 250: This course forms part of the Mannheim Summer School 2019. The registration fee of 250€ includes all coursework (up to two courses of the program), a Welcome Reception, a welcome package, two excursions, evening leisure activities, a Farewell BBQ, transcript of records and certificate as well as individual support in finding accomodation.


The Mannheim Summer School is strongly funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. We are therefore able to keep registration cost low for every participant and do not offer individual scholarships.