Trans Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften 16. Nr. Juni 2006

1.4. Reproduktionen und Innovationen in Sprache und Kommunikation verschiedener Sprachkulturen / Reproduction and Innovation in Language and Communication in different Language Cultures
Herausgeber | Editor | Éditeur: Rudolf Muhr (Universität Graz)

Dokumentation | Documentation | Documentation

English code-switching in the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel

Alexander Onysko (Universität Innsbruck, Austria)



This paper investigates the occurrence of English code-switching in a popular German newsmagazine. A yet sparsely investigated phenomenon, written code-switching can be framed within a general understanding of code-switching as a feature of spoken language. A closer definition of written code-switching, however, favours a structural approach over distributional aspects. Accordingly, this paper proposes four interrelated types of written code-switching which subsume the appearance of English phrasal units in the German corpus. While the different types share the common function of emphasizing previously introduced information units, they also tend to occupy a few functional niches in the texts. Quotation serves as the major textual space for the integration of code-switching in articles of Der Spiegel. In terms of facilitation, quotation of the original voice, Anglo-American context, lexical elements, and specific discourse topics stimulate the occurrence of code-switching. Overall, the discussion adds to the larger perspective of the current impact of English on German. As such the findings emphasize the regular integration of English syntactic units in German discourse.


1. Introduction: Types of written code-switching

As a common phenomenon of language use in bilingual and multilingual speakers, code-switching has been extensively studied in multilingual speech communities all over the world(1). Despite the plethora of research, code-switching in written language has only been marginally represented (cf. Montes-Alcalá 2001, Callahan 2004). The current position of English as a global means of communication and its concomitant impact on German, however, give rise to an investigation of English written code-switching in German. By analyzing a text corpus from the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel from the year 2000 (Der Spiegel 2000), the present study tries to break ground for studying the usage of English code-switching in a popular written German medium.

From a sociolinguistic perspective code-switching is essentially a phenomenon of language contact. As an observable speech habit it represents the individual psycholinguistic state of the speaker, who switches between different codes, i.e. mutually unintelligible languages or varieties of the same language in one speech act or communicative situation. As such code-switching is realized as discrete units of different codes in a larger discourse context. Intuitively, this description seems to adequately portray the essence of code-switching (2). On closer analysis, however, an empirical definition of code-switching faces a few dilemmas, which research has merely been able to solve in approximations. In particular the question of how to differentiate, if at all, borrowing from code-switching has occupied the minds of many researchers in the field (cf. among others Poplack 1993:256, King 2000:86, Gardner-Chloros 1995:68-89, Muysken 2000:69-73).

Two fundamental problems underlie the discussion of how to delineate borrowing from code-switching. First of all, attempts have been made to distinguish borrowing from code-switching along the lines of single lexical units (borrowing) vs. multi-word sentential units (code-switching ). This approach is usually combined with an understanding of borrowing as structurally (and sometimes also phonologically) integrated lexical units in the receptor language (RL). Code-switching, on the other hand, retains its structural markings of the source language (SL) and defies proper morphological and word-formal integration in the RL. While surface form and the degree of syntactic complexity might adequately describe canonical examples of borrowing and code-switching, they fail to account for the possibility of single-word code-switches and multi-word borrowed units. Thus, the corpus of the present study includes a variety of English syntactic groups, which appear as nominal lexical concepts in German. These expressions frequently involve technical terms, discipline specific jargon, or function as catchy labels as in Books on Demand, just in time, Point of no return, public to private deals, Return on investment, Rhythm and Blues, right stuff dating, and trial and error. Even though these terms formally represent multi-word English units in German, they denote specific concepts and appear as lexical elements in the German texts. If code-switching is regarded as a syntactic process, the purely lexical function of these syntactic groups fails to classify them as code-switching. Instead, these phrasal units are in line with the notion of borrowing as a lexical phenomenon.

In a similar vein, the corpus contains a couple of single-word units which function as English code-switches in German articles. These primarily involve the discourse markers Hello, Hi, Now, Please, Well, Yeah and Yes as exemplified in (1) and (2):

(1) Blair wusste die Angelegenheit von der heiteren Seite zu nehmen: Er habe ihre fehlende Reaktion nicht als Brüskierung empfunden: "Wir sagten einander tatsächlich 'Hello'. (1/180)
[Blair knew how to make light of the situation: He did not regard her lack of responsiveness as an affront: We actually said 'hello' to each other.]

(2) Auf der Straße lächeln dich wildfremde Menschen an, und manche werfen dir im Gehen ein Hi! entgegen wie eine Handvoll Schnee." (7/232)
[Strangers smile at you on the street and some throw a Hi! at you like a handful of snow.]

In these examples the English greetings function as contextual indexes which signal the authenticity of the speech act. In (2), for example, Hi symbolises the generic voice of the people in New York as experienced by the fictional character of a Russian immigrant while he is walking in the streets of New York. From the perspective of the communicative event, the English terms in (1) and (2) represent code-switches into the original tone of the English speakers and do not involve the use of established English lexical units in German.

This last argument touches upon the notion of lexical acceptance, which has been employed as a further criterion to separate code-switching from borrowing. Thus, several researchers have applied token frequency of an SL item in the RL to classify the SL element as code-switching or borrowing (cf. Myers-Scotton 1993b, Muysken 2000, Sankoff and Poplack 1984). This approach relies on the hypothesis that the recurrent use of an SL element in the RL is a token of its integration as a listeme in the lexicon of the RL. Sporadic and novel use of SL elements, on the other hand, is dependent on the activation of SL lexicon and rules. Accordingly, lexical acceptance, i.e. conventionalisation, of an SL element in the RL is regarded as borrowing and singular occurrences represent instances of code-switching. The problem with this definition lies first of all in the difficulty of ascertaining to what extent a specific SL lexical or syntactic unit is distributed in the RL speaker community. Furthermore, it raises the question of determining the threshold level of recurrence of an SL item, i.e. where to draw the line between borrowing and code-switching. In her outline of the matrix language frame model in code-switching, Myers-Scotton, for example, arbitrarily determines borrowing at a token frequency of three and higher (1993b: 204).

As these attempts of defining code-switching and borrowing show, it seems most appropriate to fall in line with Clyne's observation that code-switching and borrowing form a continuum of usage (2003:71). If projected on a cline from borrowing to code-switching, canonical examples of both phenomena will include the following features:

The examples of the discourse markers and phrasal borrowings above show that the reversal of individual features, in particular single vs. multiple elements and frequent vs. singular usage, can lead to non-canonical examples of borrowing and code-switching. The feature of morpho-syntactic integration is of a second order and can merely be taken as ancillary evidence. This is underlined by the example of English nominal bases in German that resist regular genitive -s inflection as in des Internet, des Recycling, des Shuttle, des Stuntman, and des Web while their token frequency (TF) in Der Spiegel 2000 underlines their nature as accepted borrowings (e.g. Internet TF 1819, Recycling TF 14, Shuttle TF 9, Web TF 111).

Apart from these two major approaches to delineate borrowing and code-switching and their implicit limitations, a differentiation between these two related manifestations of language contact and bi/multilingualism seems immanently tied to the respective contact situation, to the degree of bi/multilingualism, and to its medium of representation. In a written corpus, such as the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel 2000, which functions as the basis of the present study(3), token frequency proves insufficient to classify borrowing and code-switching due to the potential persistence of the written word. Even though an anglicism might appear only once in Der Spiegel 2000, it could catch the attention of the readership and spread among the German speaking community. This is why the criterion of lexical acceptance, i.e. frequency, has not been applied rigorously in this study. Instead, a distinction between single-word items that largely follow the morpho-syntactic conventions of German, i.e. borrowing, and multi-word segments that are governed internally by English syntactic conventions, i.e. code-switching, adequately accounts for the majority of the data (with the exception of single-word code-switches and multi-word phrasal borrowings as shown above).

Another medium-specific characteristic of code-switching in Der Spiegel arises from the role of the author as mediator. Thus, the writer can deliberately choose to integrate English sentential units in a German text regardless of the source of the code-switch(4). By including stretches of English discourse in German articles, the author constructs bilingual scenari inducing the reader to switch between a main German and an auxiliary English mode. From the perspective of a German reader, English sentential units mark deviations from the majority (i.e. matrix) language German. The elevated amount of deliberation underlying the occurrence of code-switching in a written publication seems contrary to habits of code-switching in spontaneous spoken language. This calls forth the questions why, despite editorial processes, written code-switching occurs in Der Spiegel, what its specific functions are, and how it is structurally embedded in German.

On the syntactic level, code-switching is generally divided into intrasentential and intersentential units. Typical examples of intrasentential switches are phrasal elements that occur in a sentence of the matrix language(5) (ML, German) as in the following examples:

(3) Berlin sei eben "the place to be", erklärt ein Banker... (15/41)
[Berlin is just "the place to be", says a banker...]

(4) Sie wünscht sich "the same procedure as every year": Schatzsuche und Topfschlagen. (33/109)
[She would like the same procedure as every year: treasure hunt and find the pot.]

Der Spiegel 2000 is particularly rich in sentential code-switches, which are embedded as full clauses into larger German compound sentences. These code-switches are frequently introduced by reporting verbs:

(5) "It’s great", erklärte Hillary mit vollem Mund. (37/281)
["It's great", said Hillary while munching (an Italian sausage)]

(6) Und wenn Jesse sagte: "Let’s do the tradition", dann wusste man, was gemeint war. (51/73)
[And when Jesse said: "Let's do the tradition", it was clear what he meant.]

In (5) and (6) the code-switches represent grammatically complete English sentences which are embedded in a larger German syntactic matrix. From the perspective of the German clause structure, the English sentential units are necessary elements. If left out, the clauses would become structurally incomplete. Thus, structural obligatoriness within a German compound sentence allows for a classification of English sentential units as intrasentential code-switches in German. Furthermore, phrasal elements which are closely tied to primary items in the matrix clause (e.g. English phrasal units functioning as modifiers of German nouns, verbs, and adjectives) also qualify as intrasentential code-switches.

Intersentential code-switching, on the other hand, can be defined as grammatically complete English sentences which are added as non-obligatory clauses to a German sentence (cf. 7, 8). In addition, every English sentence that occurs outside the textual space of a German sentence, i.e. the code-switch is typographically bound by standard markers (periods, question marks, exclamation marks, colons, and semi-colons) is classified as an instance of intersentential code-switching in this study. Examples (9) and (10) illustrate this type of intersentential code-switching in the corpus:

(7) Narkosen müssten abgebrochen werden, sobald etwas Zweifelhaftes auftauche: "If in doubt, take it out." (5/58)
[Anesthesia has to be suspended when something problematic appears: "If in doubt, take it out"]

(8) Ein Präsident, der seinen selbstzerstörerischen Zug nie besiegen konnte und von dem vor allem ein Satz in Erinnerung bleiben wird: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." (45/250)
[A president, who could never conquer his self-destructive trait and of whom one sentence will particularly remain in memory: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."]

(9) ... und wendeten damit gleichsam dialektisch alten Horror in neue Vision von Liebe und Verständnis. All you need is love. (46/153)
[ that they quasi dialectically turned old horror in new visions of love and compassion. All you need is love.]

(10) "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." Dieses englische Sprichwort drückt eine Binsenweisheit aus: ... (46/14)
["When in Rome, do as the Romans do." This English proverb expresses a truism:...]

In sum , the basic types of intrasentential and intersentential code-switching (CS) are realised in the corpus by a total of four distinct structural types:

  1. Phrasal Intrasentential CS
    (cf. 3, 4);
  1. Integrated Intersentential CS
    (cf. 7, 8);
  1. Clausal Intrasentential CS
    (cf. 5,6)
  1. Autonomous Intersentential CS
    (cf. 9, 10)

The different types are related to each other through a set of common features: syntactic obligatoriness of the English code-switch in the German matrix sentence, syntactic completeness of the English code-switch, and sentential embedding of the English code-switch in the German matrix text as indicated by typographical boundaries. As evident in examples (3-10), Phrasal Intrasentential CS shows the features [± syntactic obligatoriness, - syntactic completeness, + sentential embedding]. Clausal Intrasentential CS can be described by [+ syntactic obligatoriness, + syntactic completeness, + sentential embedding]. Integrated Intersentential CS shows the features [- syntactic obligatoriness, + syntactic completeness, + sentential embedding], and Autonomous Intersentential CS is distinguishable by the set of [- syntactic obligatoriness, + syntactic completeness, - sentential embedding].

If displayed on a cline between intrasentential and intersentential code-switching, Phrasal Intrasentential CS and Autonomous Intersentential CS represent canonical examples of intrasentential and intersentential code-switching while Clausal Intrasentential CS and Integrated Intersentential CS constitute a transitional area between the canonical types of code-switching. Figure 1 illustrates the types of English written code-switching in the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel 2000 on a cline from intrasentential to intersentential.

The ellipses to the left and to right end of the cline encompass the conceptual space for intrasentential and intersentential written code-switching. The types of intrasentential code-switching are based on the shared features of syntactic obligatoriness and sentential embedding of the English code-switch in the German matrix clause. Syntactic obligatoriness in the German matrix sentence becomes an optional feature if the code-switch consists of a grammatically incomplete English sentence, i.e. [- syntactic completeness] as in Phrasal intrasentential CS. This feature also differentiates between the intrasentential types.

Intersentential code-switching, on the other hand, is defined by a lack of syntactic obligatoriness of the English code-switch in the German matrix clause and by the syntactic completeness of the English code-switch as a full sentence. The differentiating feature between the two types of intersentential code-switching is [± sentential embedding], a primarily formal criterion of typographical marking. Finally, the space in the middle of the cline represents the transitional area between inter- and intrasentential code-switching. This space symbolizes the conceptual vicinity of Clausal Intrasentential CS and Integrated Intersentential CS, which are united by the syntactic completeness of the English code-switch and the sentential embedding of the English clause in the German matrix sentence. The feature [± syntactic obligatoriness] delineates these two types of code-switching.

Having analysed the different structural types of English written code-switching in the corpus, the questions arise what kind of textual functions these code-switches fulfil, and why they appear as such in German texts. The remainder of the paper will investigate these questions and analyse the various types of written code-switching from intrasentential to intersentential (figure 1).


2. Intrasentential Code-switching

To commence with Phrasal Intrasentential CS, several English phrasal units function as complements in German copulative clauses. Besides (3), further occurrences of code-switches as copulative complements are illustrated below:

(11) Der Kollege aus den Niederlanden sei "absolutely first class", befand Eddie George, Chef der Bank of England. (43/22)
[The colleague from the Netherlands was "absolutely first class", stated Eddie George, head of the Bank of England.]

(12) Schließlich wird ihnen mit dem Slogan "Buy British Beef" von Politikern und Presse unermüdlich eingebläut, heimisches Rindfleisch sei absolut sicher und sowieso "the best in the world". (32/140)
[With the slogan "Buy British Beef" they are, after all, constantly urged into believing that homegrown beef is totally safe and anyway "the best in the world".]

(13) ... schließlich ist ihr Leben im Big Apple "really busy",... (30/176)
[...after all her life in the Big Apple is "really busy",...]

(14) Summers war "his master’s voice", er formulierte die Position des Präsidenten. (10/25)
[Summers was "his master's voice"; he expressed the position of the president.]

In (11-14) the English complements of the copula describe the quality of the subject. In structural terms the code-switches retain the morpheme order of German paraphrases (absolut erste Klasse, das beste der Welt, wirklich geschäftig). This structural parallelism could have alleviated their appearance in German. However, equivalent morpheme order is not a prerequisite for the manifestation of code-switching as (14) shows. While the genitive in his master's voice could be mirrored in German as seines Meisters Stimme, the more unmarked variant die Stimme seines Meisters demands a switch in the position of possessor and possessed.

The examples above are couched in an Anglo-American context, which sets the atmospheric frame for the code-switches. Examples (11) and (12) are quotations of English speakers. Interestingly, parts of the speakers' utterances are translated while other parts appear as untranslated code-switches. While the translated parts constitute the structural core of the sentences (subject and copula), the descriptive element in the complement appears in its original voice. Apart from purveying the actual tone of the speaker, these code-switches also bear slightly ironic implications. This is due to the markedness of a code-switch in its German textual environment. By encoding information in English, the author can signal the reader not to take the message at face value. In (12), for example, the author switches to English to show how British politicians try to play down the effects of Mad Cow Disease. The use of the English original voice allows the author to distance himself from the message and to add to the general undertone of the article, which suggests that the outbreak of Mad Cow Disease in Britain is, in fact, a serious matter.

Besides functioning as copulative complements, Phrasal Intrasentential CS occurs as appositions. As such it provides additional information on a noun phrase in the core sentence. This is illustrated in the following examples:

(15) Die erste Frage ist ohnehin die f-or-m-Frage, female or male,... (48/192)
[The first question is anyway the f-or-m question, female or male,...]

(16) "Eingegriffen wird erst dann, wenn der Rauch aus dem Schornstein quillt, ‚at the end of the pipe‘". (44/150)
[They only interfere when smoke rises from the chimney, "at the end of the pipe".]

(17) ... verschenkt Sat 1 ab sofort Geld für treue Kunden des "Comedy-Kanals" (Harald Schmidt), formerly known as "Kuschelsender". (23/96)
[From now on, Sat 1 gives money to frequent customers of the "Comedy-Channel" (Harald Schmidt), formerly known as "Kuschelsender" (cuddle station).]

In (15-17) the code-switches function as syntactically non-obligatory appositions in German matrix clauses. Despite their common structural value, the English phrases are motivated differently. The code-switch in (15) represents a bilingual wordplay in the context of searching for partners online. Example (16) features a quotation of a German police officer on the lack of preventive measures to control drug trafficking in Germany. The image of the pipe metaphorically relates to drug consumption and, by semantic diminution, connects to the German head word Schornstein ('chimney'). This allows a comparison between environmental action in the seventies and current anti-drug policies.

In contrast to instances of Phrasal Intrasentential CS so far, examples (15-17) are not framed in an Anglo-American context but occur on the background of events in Germany. The nature of the events, however, could serve as a thematic base of the English code-switches. So, the usage of anglicisms as key elements in the discourse of the Internet (e.g. Attachment, Computer, Cyberspace, E-mail, downloaden, online, surfen ...) creates a discursive mood for the inclusion of further English elements in the article. Anglicisms also play a crucial role in the jargon of drugs (e.g. Crack, Ecstasy, dealen, Joint, Junkie, Speed) which could stimulate the code-switch in (16). In (17) the code-switch immediately succeeds the hybrid anglicism "Comedy-Kanals", which possibly acts as a local lexical facilitator of the code-switch in the German phrase(6).

Further Phrasal Intrasentential CS includes complements to German grammatical objects and subjects and phrasal elements replacing the direct object in the German matrix clause. Examples (18-20) summarize these functions in the corpus:

(18) ...die das Image Großbritanniens als "Dirty old man of Europe" konservieren. (14/189)
[... which conserve the image of Great Britain as "dirty old man of Europe".]

(19) ...aber der alte Shaft durfte sich auch als "sex machine for all the chicks" hervortun. (43/296)
[... but the old Shaft was also allowed to excel as a "sex machine for all the chicks".]

(20) Bei künftigen Krisen in Europa werden die Amerikaner "Germans to the front" rufen, anstatt eigene Spezialkräfte zu schicken. (48/33)
[In future crises in Europe the Americans will call "Germans to the front" instead of sending their own special forces.]

In (18) and (19) the phrases Dirty old man of Europe and sex machine for all the chicks provide additional information about the complex direct object, das Image Großbritanniens ('the image of Great Britain'), and about the subject Shaft (name of a movie character). The code-switches function as phrasal labels which describe the role of the respective noun phrase. The German comparative particle als ('as') links the English phrases syntactically with their antecedents. The EL-island Germans to the front (20) acts as a grammatical object. The code-switch imitates the voice of the Americans, which is inserted as a quotation in the German sentence.

The phrasal insertions in (18) and (19) show that English elements in German can also take a euphemistic function. Thus, the expressions dirty old man of Europe and sex machine for all the chicks subdue the blatancy of the meaning compared with German transliterations. Euphemism is generally evident in the occurrence of English swear words and in the use of English expressions to refer to near-taboo topics such as sexual intercourse. The euphemistic function of English is based on the fact that, as exotic items or as rather recent additions to the German lexicon, English expressions initially bypass socio-cultural stigmatisation which has affected the use of German swear words. So, English lends itself as a means of addressing potentially offensive issues in a public German medium.

As far as the question of triggering is concerned, the examples in (18-20) seem contextually and/or textually facilitated. In (18) and (19) the contextual settings (an article about demonstrations against a nuclear factory in Sellafield, GB, and an interview with actor Samuel Jackson about his new movie) emphasize the local facilitators of the switches (Image Großbritanniens, Shaft as the name of a movie character). In (20) the macro-context of the article fails to account for the code-switch. The mention of the Americans, however, creates a micro-context that initiates the switch into the imagined voice of the Americans. Thus the code-switch purveys a more contextually authentic tone than a German rendering.

In general, the question of why code-switches emerge in German syntactic environments has been approached with an application of Clyne's understanding of triggering, which he calls facilitation in his later works in order to presume a less definite influence of cotext and context as an initiating force of the switch (cf. 2003: 162-68). The analysis of the present corpus takes an essentially positivistic stance towards triggering and facilitation, which means that context, discourse topic (e.g. Internet and drugs), and lexical items (e.g. English proper nouns and anglicisms) are regarded as emitting a stimulating influence on the occurrence of English code-switching. In the examples of Phrasal Intrasentential CS close links to at least one of these possible facilitators can be established.

Because a variety of Phrasal Intrasentential CS is generated in the texts as remnants of a presumed original voice of an English speaker, such code-switches are typographically marked as quotations in the German matrix sentence. In addition, quotation marks function as typographical indicators of exceptional language use in German. As such, quotation marks create a textual space that allows written expression outside the German norm. This space represents a frequent site of English code-switches and phrasal neologisms in German.

In sum, Phrasal Intrasentential CS takes diverse positions in the German matrix clauses. As syntactically obligatory elements, the code-switches occur as copulative complements and as direct objects. In syntactically non-obligatory function, Phrasal Intrasentential CS appears as appositional phrases, as adverbial phrases, and as nominal complements. Structurally, Phrasal Intrasentential CS represents straightforward examples of EL islands in German matrix clauses. The syntactic nucleus (subject and verb) is expressed in German while the EL islands take peripheral positions.

In contrast to Phrasal Intrasentential CS, Clausal Intrasentential CS is more numerous in the corpus. From a functional perspective, however, the applications of Clausal Intrasentential CS are less diverse than those of Phrasal Intrasentential CS. The majority of Clausal Intrasentential CS involves quotations of individual speech acts, which are integrated in larger German matrix structures. These quotational code-switches can be introduced with reporting and emotive verbs as in the following selection:

(21) "Jaguar goes public", sagt Kliegl, "wir wollen unsere Exklusivität beibehalten,... (15/128)
["Jaguar goes public", Kliegl says, "we would like to keep our exclusiveness,...]

(22) "The body is the message", variiert die Hamburger Soziologin Gabriele Klein die berühmte Medienthese von Marshall McLuhan. (27/144)
["The body is the message", Gabriele Klein, sociologist in Hamburg, varies Marshall McLuhan's famous media thesis.]

(23) "We are back in the game", triumphierte Schatzmeister Matthias Wissmann in der Sprache der Sieger. (2/22)
["We are back in the game", triumphed treasurer Matthias Wissmann in the language of the winners.]

(24) "I am a full-time writer", sagt die junge Frau, "aber ich zwinge mich nicht zum Schreiben, am liebsten hänge ich mit Freunden herum oder besuche meine Familie." (34/206)
["I am a full-time writer", the young woman says, "but I don't force myself to write. I like most to hang out with friends or to visit my family."]

The code-switches in (21-24) exhibit some interesting aspects when analyzed in detail. The quotations in (21), (22), and (23) are uttered by German speakers. While (21) might involve contextual facilitation due to its reference to an English car manufacturer, the code-switches in (22) and (23) seem largely independent of lexical and contextual triggers or facilitation by discourse topic. The English code-switches in these examples represent catch phrases connoting trendiness (22) and power (23). The latter example includes a metacomment on the function of English ("the language of the winners"), which, even though meant ironically, is a token of the aura constructed around the English language in German.

(24) is an example of code-switching as the result of partial translation of the words of an Israeli author. The code-switch, i.e. the untranslated part, highlights the factual kernel of the quotation. This coincides with its appearance as a straightforward English copula structure consisting of simple lexical items.

A further recurrent purpose of flagged Clausal Intrasentential CS cum quotation is the expression of a speaker's emotional reaction. As such, code-switching establishes an interpretational frame of authenticity and immediacy of the utterance.

(25) ... seinen Jet so brutal in den Landeanflug, dass der Co-Pilot entsetzt ausrief: "What the hell are you doing?" (Was zum Teufel machst du da?) (23/237)
[... his jet so brutally for the landing approach that the terrified co-pilot called out, "What the hell are you doing?" (German translation)]

(26) ... zwei Männer ziehen mich hinein, schlagen die Tür zu. Einer sagt: "Sorry for that." (31/20)
[ ...two men pull me in, slam the door shut. One of them says, "Sorry for that."]

(27) "Shut up!" ruft der Gymnasiallehrer... (21/186)
["Shut up!" the grammar school teacher shouts...]

According to their reference to original settings, the contexts of the switches in (25-27) involve the use of English as an international lingua franca: (25) features the use of English in aviation, and (26) and (27) represent the communication between German hostages and their kidnappers on Philippi. While the code-switch in (25) is followed by a German rendering, translation is far from being a common reaction to the integration of English phrasal units in articles of Der Spiegel 2000. In (25) the English original evokes a German idiomatic translation, which, by way of transposed repetition, emphasizes the original utterance. Apart from translation as a means to assure content understanding, emphasis appears to be the major function of German translations of English code-switches.

In a few instances, Clausal Intrasentential CS cum quotation is not overtly introduced by German reporting verbs but is linked to its source by its implication. However, this strategy is marginal compared with the usual pattern of a reporting (emotive) verb followed by a quotational code-switch.

(28) Doch Walsh will bei seinen regelmäßigen Barbesuchen ("You have to keep in touch with the real world") erfahren haben, dass sich die Trinkgewohnheiten ändern. (37/103)
[But Walsh claims to have found out on his regular trips to bars ("You have to keep in touch with the real world") that drinking habits change.]

(29) Spuren der Diktatur suchen Amerikaner dagegen vergeblich. Sie fragen ihre deutschen Freunde im Bus nach einem Stück Mauer mit Todesstreifen und Wachturm oder wenigstens "Hitlers Bunker, where he died". (15/41)
[The Americans look in vain for traces of the dictatorship. They ask their German friends on the bus for a piece of Berlin wall with restricted zone and watchtower or at least "Hitler's bunker, where he died."]

In (28) the code-switch is integrated in the main clause as a thought to the side showing Walsh's reason for going to bars regularly. The first part of the quotation Hitlers Bunker, where he died (29) is orthographically assimilated in the text due to homography between the English and the German elements. As a whole, the code-switch functions as a persiflage on American tourists in Berlin and their fascination with the dark chapters of Germany's history.

Apart from direct quotations the most widespread usage of Clausal Intrasentential CS in the corpus can be found in the domain of guidelines, mottos, rules, and principles (mottos/principles/rules). As the following selection shows, such code-switches are usually flagged in German matrix sentences with nouns such as Motto ('motto'), Prinzip ('principle'), Leitsatz ('guideline'), Regel ('rule'), Weisheit ('knowledge'), and Sprichwort ('proverb').

(30) Unter dem Motto "Music is the only drug" feiern rund 60 000 Raver beim "Union Move" in München. (5/249)
[Under the motto "Music is the only drug", about 60.000 ravers celebrate at "Union Move" in Munich.]

(31) ...denn über allen Rezepturen thront der Leitsatz: "Love is the Message". (2/59)
[...because on top of all the recipes the guideline reads: "Love is the Message".]

(32) Offenbar beherzigen Aktionäre derzeit die alte Börsenregel "Sell on good news". (46/121)
[Apparently, shareholders currently heed the old stockmarket rule "Sell on good news".]

(33) Im Gegensatz zur frühen Industriegesellschaft, in der es erst darum ging, zu sparen und dann zu kaufen, lautet das heutige Prinzip: Buy now, pay later. (33/116)
[In contrast to early industrial society in which saving preceded buying, the principle today is: buy now, pay later.]

(34) Nur für Schwergewichtler gelte das Sprichwort "They’ll never come back", trotzte Schäuble kürzlich in einem Interview. (38/35)
[The proverb "They'll never come back" is only valid for the heavyweights, Schäuble recently mocked in an interview.]

(35) ...handelte Clinton in seiner indischen Woche nach dem Broadway-Motto "The show must go on". (13/206)
[...during his week in India Clinton acted according to the Broadway-motto "The show must go on".]

According to their function as mottos and principles, the code-switches in (30-35) appear as concise catch phrases. A prominent theme of the English mottos/principles/rules relates to current lifestyle including music (30) and nightlife (31). Further areas are economics (32, 33) and politics (34, 35). Interestingly, the vast majority of English code-switches as mottos/principles/rules in German are devoid of an Anglo-American background. From the selection of examples, merely (35) relates to former US President Clinton and his political strategy employed during a state visit to India. The remaining code-switches represent comments of German journalists or interview partners and are explicitly set in a German context as in (30): a rave in Munich, (31): a bar in Berlin, (32): the German stock market, and (34): the words of a German politician. The code-switch in (35) refers to a global economic principle which is also influencing consumer behaviour in Germany. The widespread lack of an Anglo-American setting and of lexical facilitators indicates that English code-switches as mottos/ principles/rules exhibit a pronounced tendency to occur as independent code-switches in German.

In comparison, Phrasal Intrasentential CS and Clausal Intrasentential CS show some overlapping functions but essentially occupy diverse functional niches. Thus, both types can be embedded as quotations or remnants thereof in German sentences. Quotation is actually the prevalent format of Clausal Intrasentential CS in the corpus. Even though Phrasal Intrasentential CS is far less frequent than its grammatically complete counterpart, it involves a range of functions including copulative complements, direct objects, appositional phrases, adverbial phrases, and nominal complements. Clausal Intrasentential CS, on the other hand, appears as embedded direct speech acts, most often flagged by reporting and emotive verbs. Nominal flagging of Clausal Intrasentential CS is predominant in the domain of mottos/principles/rules.

Another difference between the two types of intrasentential code-switching relates to their degree of facilitation. While facilitational links based on context and lexical items can be established for nearly all Phrasal Intrasentential CS, a substantial amount of Clausal Intrasentential CS lacks Anglo-American reference frames as contextual facilitators and anglicisms as lexical triggers. Instead, these code-switches employ a subtle mode of connotational framing which typically involves the discourse topics of current lifestyle and trends, economics, and politics. This dissimilarity between the two types of intrasentential code-switching seems related to their degree of syntactic autonomy in the German matrix sentence. In other words, if English syntactic units function as complements or replace German elements, their structurally marked occurrence demands overt contextual and/or lexical facilitation. As syntactically complete insertions, Clausal Intrasentential CS, however, obtains a high degree of structural autonomy. This is emphasized by its occurrence at flagged positions in German matrix sentences.


3. Intersentential code-switching

As indicated in section 1, intersentential code-switching in Der Spiegel can be defined as grammatically complete English sentences which are added as syntactically non-obligatory clauses to a German sentence (Integrated Intersentential CS) or which occur as separate typographically bound English sentences within a German text (Autonomous Intersentential CS). In terms of typographical marking, Integrated Intersentential CS mainly appears loosely connected to a German sentence by a colon or a hyphen.

(36) Leser meiner Generation wollen unterhalten werden: Entertain me. (21/110)
[Readers of my generation would like to be entertained: Entertain me.]

(37) Vielmehr strebe es, immer schon, nach Macht und Reichtum - Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. (30/81)
[In fact, as at all times, she goes for power and wealth - Diamonds are a girl's best friend.]

Autonomous Intersentential CS appears as separate sentences in between clearly marked sentence boundaries (e.g. periods, question marks, exclamation marks). Overall, this type of intersentential code-switching is less frequent than Integrated Intersentential CS.

(38) Man begehrt die Begierde. "Desire is a fuzzy matrix." Soll heißen: Verlangen ist eine fusselige Substanz. (27/145)
[One desires desire. "Desire is a fuzzy matrix." This should mean: Desire is a linty substance.]

(39) Olympia? Forget it, man. (37/214)
[The Olympic games? Forget it, man.]

Despite different typographical marking, Autonomous and Integrated Intersentential CS share the global functions of emphasis and of summative comments in the corpus. Overall, both types appear less often than Clausal Intrasentential CS. The majority of intersentential code-switches represent the original voice of an English speaker in the German article. Accordingly, they predominantly occur as quotations in the corpus.

(40) Allen voran natürlich der über den Grundkonflikt des Mafia-Bosses und Familienvaters Tony Soprano: "If one family won’t kill him, his other one will." (10/127)
[First of all, of course, the one about the basic conflict of the mafia boss and father Tony Soprano: "If one family won't kill him, his other one will."]

(41) Eine Fortsetzung der Geschichte sollte es nur geben, wenn mindestens 75 Prozent von ihnen den Tribut an ihn entrichten würden: "If you pay, the story rolls. If you don’t, the story folds." (45/294)
[The story will only continue if at least 75 percent of them would pay tribute to the author: "If you pay, the story rolls. If you don't, the story folds."]

(42) Unter der Cheops-Pyramide hat er jüngst ein verborgenes Gangsystem aufgespürt, den "Osiris-Schacht" - und gleich wieder geschlossen: "No time to excavate." (24/224)
[Below the pyramid of Cheops he had recently found a hidden system of corridors, the "tunnel of Osiris" - and immediately closed it again: "No time to excavate."]

Example (40) is a quotation taken from a US TV series on a Mafia family; (41) refers to Stephen King selling a novel over the Internet, and (42) represents an utterance by an Egyptian archaeologist. While (40) and (41) are contextually linked to an American background, (42) represents the function of English as an international language.

In terms of their textual position, the code-switches appear as non-obligatory sentential insertions which thematically relate to their preceding German clauses. The code-switches specifically comment on individual segments of their previous clauses. In (40) the basic conflict (Grundkonflikt) is expressed in the original voice of the TV character. The code-switch in (41) coats the essence of Stephen King's request with the perceptually salient features of parallel syntactic structure and end rhyme. The meaning of the conditional clauses, If you pay, the story rolls. If you don't, the story folds, is paraphrased in the preceding German sentence. In (42) the original voice of the archaeologist explains why the excavation site was immediately closed again (und gleich wieder geschlossen). The code-switches in (40-42) generally exhibit a combined function of illustrating and emphasizing previously introduced information units in the German sentences. Referential emphasis through additional information is complemented by formal salience of the intersentential code-switches, which appear as a marked code in the German textual environment. In connection with word formal salience, the code-switches represent the original English voice, thus claiming authenticity of the speech act. In a couple of examples authenticity is emphasized by showing the emotional involvement of the speaker (also cf. Clausal Intrasentential CS, 25-27):

(43) "Wenn man die 1 Meter 20 auf 1 Meter 80 großen Frauenkörper sieht," so Lew Lillian, Chef des Plakatierungsunternehmens, "diese entsetzlich von Narben entstellten Frauenkörper - das ist nichts für die Öffentlichkeit. It’s too shocking." (8/312)
["If, on 1 meter and 80 centimeters, you see the 1 meter 20 centimeters tall women's bodies", says Lew Lillian, head of the billposting company, "these terrible scars on the women's bodies - this is not meant for the public eye. It's too shocking."]

(44) Livingstone ist eine Viertelstunde zu spät und schimpft über die heruntergekommene U-Bahn, über die sich auch die meisten Londoner endlos empören können: "Bloody tube!" (18/186)
[Livingstone is fifteen minutes late and complains about the derelict underground transportation about which also most of the Londoners endlessly grumble: "Bloody tube!"]

(43) exemplifies a code-switch as the result of partial translation (also cf. 11, 12, 24). In such a case, usually the more complex contents of the speaker's utterance is rendered into German while the English element is a straightforward and simple English phrase. In (43) the final position of It's too shocking indicates the essence of the speaker's message in his authentic voice. The code-switch also bears a cultural undertone. Thus, the reaction to a controversial poster campaign by the American Breast Cancer Fund (It's too shocking) is more typical for the cultural context of the US than for Germany, where images of exposed bodies are less tabooed in the public.

Excerpt (44) includes a more obvious example of a culturally iconic code-switch. Here, the nickname of the London underground transportation and what the Londoners think of it is given in its original voice. Besides indicating cultural iconicity, the English exclamation is of a euphemistic nature in German (cf. 18, 19), which is also evident in a few other intersentential code-switches in the corpus:

(45) "Wenn es wahr ist, was hier übersetzt wurde, dann sieht es nicht so gut aus bei den nächsten Wahlen - if you ever really said all this shit." Gabriel blieb gelassen. (41/293)
["If it is true what was translated here, then it doesn't look very good for the next elections - if you ever really said all this shit." Gabriel remained calm.]

(46) Shit happens. Shit sells: als "Big Brother"-Spiel und -T-Shirt, -CD und -Video. (21/274)
[Shit happens. Shit sells: as "Big Brother"-game and -T-shirt, -CD and -video.]

In (45) the code-switch is again a result of partial translation of the original utterance. In line with (11, 12, 24, and 43), the English part of the quotation functions as a summative comment which emphasizes the previous German sentence. The genuine words of an American programmer after testing his machine-translation software on the speeches of a German politician retain the ironic tinge of his statement. A German translation of the code-switch and, specifically, of its swear word could mark the speaker as rude and skew the intended irony of the speaker's original reaction.

Similarly, in terms of conversational implicature, the short English phrases in (46) appear less abusive than their possible German translational equivalents. In contrast to the majority of the intersentential code-switches discussed so far, (46) is embedded in a German cultural setting and is not based on the quotation of an English speaker. Instead, the author functions as a source of the code-switch. With the lack of cultural or speaker specific facilitation, the code-switch in (46) seems triggered by a combination of lexical facilitation ("Big Brother" as the name of a popular German TV-show), discourse topic (a discussion of the TV-show in an article on current German entertainment trends), and euphemism (to avoid the use of a stigmatized variant). Further examples of author-induced intersentential code-switching are employed as summative comments that appear as simple English phrases:

(47) ...die in drei Nächten mit viel Dosenbier ein neues zusammendichten mussten: 960 Dollar.Als Zuschauer gibt man bald auf, in diesem Chaos von Dialogkadavern und klinisch toten Anschlüssen nach einem Sinn zu suchen und spürt nur noch einer Frage nach: Show me the money, wo ist das Geld? (21/272)
[...who, during three nights with lots of canned beer, had to come up with a new one: 960 Dollars. As a viewer, you soon give up on looking for sense in this chaos of carcassed dialogues and clinically dead leads and just want to find out about one question: Show me the money; where is the money?]

(48) Jüngst noch postulierte das so genannte popkulturelle Quintett fünf aufstrebender Jungautoren ("Tristesse Royale"), das Ende der lustigen Fahnenstange sei erreicht: "Irony is over"; (23/111)
[Recently, the so called pop-cultural quintet of five upcoming young authors ("Tristesse Royale") posited that the end of the funny turn was reached: "Irony is over";]

The excerpt in (47) is part of a movie review that criticises the amount of money spent on the production of a particularly unsuccessful Hollywood movie. The code-switch summarises the essence of a detailed paragraph speculating about the expenses for costumes and film script. The English phrase reflects the global context of the American movie production and seems lexically facilitated by the previous mention of the Dollar. The code-switch serves an emphatic function, which is syntactically highlighted by its imperative mode. While the code-switch is typographically connected with a comma to the following question, Show me the money appears as an intersentential switch, which is structurally unrelated to the following question (wo ist das Geld? 'where is the money?')

In (48) the actual source of the code-switch is obscure. The English phrase is either a quotation of the previously mentioned group of German authors ("Tristesse Royal") or generated by the author of the article. Either way, the author applies the English phrase to highlight the bottom line of the indirect speech act (das Ende der lustigen Fahnenstange sei erreicht 'the end of the funny turn was reached'). In structural terms, the summative comment Irony is over is a further example of code-switching in the form of a simple English phrase, which, in this case, consists of a copulative clause and easily comprehensible lexical items (cf. near equivalence of G. Ironie and E. irony and the use of over in other anglicisms such as over and out, and Game over). In terms of facilitation, the German cultural setting of the article leaves the discourse topic of current German lifestyle and entertainment as a thematic context of the code-switch. This ties in with earlier examples of code-switching in the German discourse of current trends and lifestyle and is generally indicative of the link between this discourse topic and the occurrence of English code-switching in Der Spiegel2000.

A couple of author-induced summative intersentential code-switches imply intertextual reference. This is particularly evident in the use of famous lines of popular English songs as evident in (37) and in the following examples:

(49) Ist nicht die Überschreitungssucht der Camus- und Bataille-Helden (und dazu Castorfs schlechte Laune) auf genau diesen öden Popnenner zu bringen - I can’t get no satisfaction? (2/181)
[Is not the addiction to transgress of Camus and Bataille's heroes (and in addition Castorf's bad mood) to be precisely reduced to this bleak pop message - I can't get no satisfaction?]

(50) Oops! She did it again! Sie hat 80 Minuten gesungen und getanzt, ihre Hüften geschwenkt und ihren Bauchnabel vorgeführt... (45/196)
[Oops! She did it again! For 80 minutes, she sang and danced, moved her hips, and showed her belly button...]

In (37) Marilyn Monroe's famous song title is adapted to refer tongue in cheek to the controversial theory in evolutionary biology that women tend to choose their male partners according to status, power, and wealth. The popular line of a Rolling Stones song in (49) is causally linked to the literary characters' disposition towards transgressive behaviour. Lack of standard facilitational cues (cultural setting, lexical items, and discourse topic) indicates that the authors of (37) and (49) play with the widely known English song lyrics to emphasise a previously mentioned point. The author of (50) changes the original line of a Britney Spears' song ("Oops! I did it again!") to playfully refer to the singer's performance at a concert in Leipzig/Germany.

In sum, intersentential code-switching in Der Spiegel occurs as syntactically non-obligatory clauses that are loosely connected with a German sentence (Integrated Intersentential CS) or as separate typographically bound English sentences (Autonomous Intersentential CS) in a German text. The majority of intersentential code-switches represent quotations which are mediated by the German author. In a few instances (cf. 37 and 46-50), the author acts as the source of intersentential code-switching. These author-induced code-switches are typically concise English phrases with a simple structure and accessible lexical meanings. Regardless of the source, intersentential code-switching takes the global functions of emphasis and summative comments in Spiegel articles. As such they illustrate and highlight previously introduced information units in the text. On a closer perspective, intersentential code-switching can involve authentic emotional reactions of speakers. This purpose sometimes overlaps with a euphemistic function of code-switching (cf. 44). Furthermore, intersentential code-switches act as cultural icons (cf. 43, 44) and as intertextual referents as in the examples of lyrics taken from famous English songs (cf. 37, 49, 50).

In terms of facilitation, intersentential code-switching primarily originates from a direct quotation of an English speaker. In many cases this ties in with a general Anglo-American setting or topic of the article. Author-induced intersentential code-switching can also be stimulated by reference to an Anglo-American theme (cf. 47) or by the discourse topic of modern lifestyle and trends (cf. 46). Lexical items can complement contextual facilitation of the code-switches (cf. 46, 47). The specific functions of intertextual reference, euphemism, and bilingual puns motivate individual instances of intersentential code-switching in the corpus.


4. Conclusion: English language islands in German

Altogether, the present study on English written code-switching in Der Spiegel2000 approaches the topic on the background of the continuous nature of borrowing and code-switching. Due to the deliberate character of written language and the potential role model of the written medium, token frequency of an English term is not employed as a rigorous criterion for the separation between borrowing and code-switching. Instead, this study follows a definition of code-switching as English syntactic units which are embedded as language islands into German matrix clauses and texts. This description adequately accounts for the vast majority of the data with the exception of single-word code-switches and multiword-phrasal borrowings. While the former typically involve the use of English discourse markers, the latter include conjunctional and prepositional phrases and constructions of modifier and head. The phrasal elements tend to merge conceptually into one lexical unit that fills a nominal slot in a German sentence.

The main types of intrasentential and intersentential code-switching can be defined on structural grounds. Syntactic obligatoriness and/or syntactic incompleteness of English phrases in a German matrix clause characterize intrasentential code-switching. Non-obligatoriness of syntactically complete English clauses in a cluster of German sentences defines the occurrence of intersentential code-switching. The features of syntactic obligatoriness of the code-switch in the German matrix clause, syntactic completeness of the code-switch, and sentential integration of the code-switch in the German text allow for a further distinction of the general types of code-switching into Phrasal Intrasentential CS, Clausal Intrasentential CS, Integrated Intersentential CS, and Autonomous Intersentential CS (cf. figure 1). Least frequent of all these types, Phrasal Intrasentential CS is functionally diverse as copulative complements, appositional phrases, and as adverbial and nominal complements. Clausal Intrasentential CS, on the other hand, accounts for by far the most numerous instances of English code-switching in the corpus. Its functional range, however, is largely limited to quotations (mostly flagged with reporting and emotive verbs) including emotional speech acts and euphemism and to mottos/principles/rules.

Less copious than Clausal Intrasentential CS, intersentential code-switching functionally overlaps with intrasentential code-switching. Quotation is generally by far the most prevalent manifestation of intersentential code-switching. Due to their structural independence, the English quotations are basically used for emphasis and as summative comments. More specifically, they can involve the representation of emotional authenticity, euphemism, intertextuality, and humor.

A cross-section of the different types of code-switching yields common functional objectives (e.g. euphemism, emotional authenticity, humor, and cultural iconicity). However, the individual types also show specific functional predilections. Clausal Intrasentential CS, for example, almost exclusively accounts for English mottos/principles/rules whereas intersentential code-switching constitutes a primary site for summative comments and emphasis. In general, syntactic obligatoriness vs. non-obligatoriness influences the textual function of code-switching on a cline from contentive (obligatory) to emphatic and ornamental function (non-obligatory).

The amount of structural dependence also bears slight repercussions on the issue of facilitation of written English code-switching. Basically, quotation of an English source, Anglo-American context, discourse topic (lifestyle and trends, computer and communication, politics, and economics), and lexical items (e.g. English proper nouns and anglicisms) appear to be facilitational cues for code-switching (7). It is important to note that these facilitational factors often combine forces and do not act in isolation of each other. A combination of quotation and Anglo-American context is generally the most frequent setting for English code-switching in the corpus. Lexical facilitators in conjunction with Anglo-American context are more frequently found in the environment of embedded Phrasal Intrasentential CS than in the structurally more independent types of Clausal Intrasentential CS and intersentential code-switching. Furthermore, Phrasal Intrasentential CS usually occurs in the immediate environment of a local contextual or lexical stimulus. By contrast, syntactically complete English code-switches tend to emerge in connection with the global context or the general discourse topic of an article.

While the appearance of English code-switching in articles of Der Spiegel might be interpreted as a token of an overall increasing influence of English in German, the analysis of the data shows that the types of code-switching in the corpus do not interfere with the system of the German language. As core elements of a German clause, Phrasal Intrasentential CS mainly functions as copulative complements. As quotations, Clausal Intrasentential CS and Integrated Intersentential CS are regularly introduced by respective quotatives, and Autonomous Intersentential CS occurs as typographically separated insertions in the German text. This emphasizes an understanding of English code-switching as embedded language islands in a regular German matrix. The instance of code-switching in the German newsmagazine might in fact be representative of the current rise in English competence of L1 German speakers. Thus, they seem more inclined to use and understand simple English phrases in German discourse. The overall occurrence of code-switching in the corpus, however, remains sporadic and merely represents an addition to German means of expression.

© Alexander Onysko (Universität Innsbruck, Austria)


(1) Cf. among others Clyne (2003), and Pütz (1994) for immigrant speech communities in Australia, Myers-Scotton (1993a/b), with evidence from African languages, Heller (1994) for English and French in Ontario; among European language communities cf. Gardner-Chloros (1991) for language choice in Strasbourg, Stenson (1990) for Irish and English, Treffers-Daller (1994) for Dutch and French to name but a few; for examples of code-switching in other areas of the world cf. Muysken (2000) and the significant volumes edited by Jacobson (1998, 2001), Eastman (1992), Auer (1998), Milroy and Muysken (1995), and Wei (2000).

(2) Note that Muysken distinguishes between code-mixing and code-switching. While the former is defined as "all cases where lexical items and grammatical features from two languages appear in one sentence", the latter describes "the rapid succession of several languages in a single speech event" (2000: 1). This distinction is not upheld in the present study due to its irrelevance in the written medium of the German newsmagazine DerSpiegel. Instead code-switching is applied in the sense of Muysken's code-mixing regardless of its intervals of occurrence in Spiegel articles. On a notational level, this largely conforms to the usage of the term code-switching by Myers-Scotton (1993b) and Clyne (2003).

(3) The corpus consists of 53 issues of the newsmagazine published in 2000. This amounts to a total size of 287,301 word types and 5,202,583 word tokens. Advertisements were not included in the text corpus.

(4) English speakers, L1 German speakers, speakers using English as a lingua franca, and the author of an article can function as the source.

(5) This study follows Myers-Scotton's Matrix Language Frame Model of code-switching , which postulates the existence of a matrix language (ML) providing the basic grammatical and lexical frame of the discourse segment and an embedded language (EL), which accounts for the code-switch (cf. 1993b). This model is particularly valid for the contact situation of English and German in the corpus of this study. In Der Spiegel, German constitutes a global ML due to the newsmagazine's primary socio-cultural setting and German speaking target audience. English is a marked choice, and inter/intrasentential English code-switches appear as EL islands in the German texts. The notion of EL islands is defined in Myers-Scotton's terms as consisting of at least two lexemes that "show internal structural dependency relations" (1993b: 138).

(6) To introduce Clyne's terminology, example (17) qualifies as consequential transversion, which stands in contrast to anticipational transversion where the code-switch structurally precedes the trigger/facilitator of the switch (2003: 166-167). While this seems to be a relevant notion in instantaneous use of spoken language (e.g. immediate switches from language a to b after the mention of a proper name of language b), the generally more planned discourse of writing fails to support this distinction. In writing, a code-switch can be regarded as consequential from the context of the article, the context of the discourse domain (e.g. Internet), and it can be triggered by lexical indicators. In the latter case, syntactic freedom would allow the postposition of a trigger in the surface form of a sentence while in the planning process the facilitator seems consequentially connected with the switch regardless of its final position on the surface of the text.

(7) Note the positivistic stance towards the notion of triggering/facilitation. Thus, it is assumed in the present study that the occurrence of a marked code (English) in German texts demands a special facilitational force, which, even though it lacks the spontaneity of spoken language, still reflects general facilitational factors as proposed by Clyne (2003: 162-66). However, the planned discourse of journalistic writing shifts the center of attention from mere lexical facilitation to context, discourse topic, and specific function (e.g. humor, euphemism, and intertextuality).


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1.4. Reproduktionen und Innovationen in Sprache und Kommunikation verschiedener Sprachkulturen / Reproduction and Innovation in Language and Communication in different Language Cultures

Sektionsgruppen | Section Groups | Groupes de sections

TRANS       Inhalt | Table of Contents | Contenu  16 Nr.

For quotation purposes:
Alexander Onysko (Universität Innsbruck, Austria): English code-switching in the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel. In: TRANS. Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften. No. 16/2005. WWW:

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