Finnish-Estonian codeswitching in Facebook Cover Image

Suomi–viro-koodinvaihto Facebookissa
Finnish-Estonian codeswitching in Facebook

Author(s): Maria Frick
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Eesti Rakenduslingvistika Ühing (ERÜ)
Keywords: interactional linguistics; internet; social media; code-switching; Finnish; Estonian

Summary/Abstract: Facebook is the most popular social media in Finland with 1,5 million Finnish users in February 2010. Typical text types in social media are status lines and wall writings that are published for a selected network and that can be commented by any member of that network. In this article, conversation analysis is applied to the study of bilingual interaction in social media. Finns who live or have lived in Estonia use codeswitching to Estonian in their Facebook writings to establish a participation framework (as defined by Goffman 1981), i.e.the possible recipients of a writing. Changes in footing (ibid.) are also shown by codeswitching, when the writer’s alignment or stance towards what is said changes. The changes in footing have to do with showing affect and indicating boundaries between activities for example when moving from narration to evaluation. Codeswitching supports the sequential organisation: in comment chains the language of a second pair part is chosen according to the first pair part especially when there is a distance between the adjacency pair parts. The above mentioned functions are similar in social media and face-to-face interaction. Also, in social media, the whereabouts of the writer is often indicated implicitly through language choice and codeswitching.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 20
  • Page Range: 49-67
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Finnish