Title
Talking like a 'zerolingual' : ambiguous linguistic caricatures at an urban secondary school Talking like a 'zerolingual' : ambiguous linguistic caricatures at an urban secondary school
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Publication type
article
Publication
Amsterdam ,
Subject
Linguistics
Source (journal)
Journal of pragmatics: an interdisciplinary quarterly of language studies. - Amsterdam
Volume/pages
43(2011) :5 , p. 1264-1278
ISSN
0378-2166
ISI
000288353700010
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The purpose of this article is to show how subordinate groups such as minority language users can enjoy and employ the linguistic possibilities afforded by the unequal structures they live in. On the basis of ethnographically collected data on linguistic practices at a secondary school in Antwerp, Belgium, I will indicate how a group of ethnic minority students engaged in making ambiguous linguistic caricatures by stylizing incompetent or broken Dutch what they called talking Illegal (Illegaal spreken, in Dutch). This appeared to be a contradictory practice: students talked Illegal as a way of faking incompetence and playfully but critically highlighting the contours of the unequal social frame surrounding them; at the same time such stylizations could also involve harsh stigmatization of classmates and help construct dominant positions on the classroom floor, and in this way they were reproducing and benefiting from the very structures they were critically highlighting on other occasions.
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