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"I'm a pigg man": Translanguaging against bilingual data and Bakhtin
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1730-5463
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This conference paper reports on a study which aims to gain leverage on the complexity of language as a natural phenomenon through the concept of languaging.  Exploration of the concept proceeds on the basis of analysis of classroom interaction video data and Bakhtinian dialogism. Languaging has gained currency in sociolinguistics and dialogic accounts of communication. The term foregrounds language as communicational action and the diverse discursive practices realized through language performance between interacting beings in concrete social situations. The concept has been provoked by often contested boundary issues running centrally through the study of language. These include, first, the boundaries between language as system and action and second, between ‘national’ languages as well as between language variation within a language. A third boundary between language deployment and other types of communication is made salient by multimodal study of communication.

Languaging represents an attempt to dissolve the system-action boundary by reconceptualizing abstract systems of linguistic resources “in action-oriented terms as constraints on […] languaging” (Linell 2009, p. 274). In this way, the organizing centre or force of constraint that holds language in dialectic tension so that it affords meaning potential across different contexts is its deployment in these contexts aligned retrospectively and prospectively in responsive action. In other words, it is people’s performances in the “chain of speech communion” (Bakhtin 1986, p. 84) which regulates the scope of what can be meant by what. The study points out difficulties with this assumption from a Baktinian perspective.

Languaging holds considerable conceptual appeal for linguists who seek to highlight the competence displayed in the linguistically hybrid yet fluid communicative performances of people in multilingual settings. The concept covers the way ground-level language performance crosses both conventional interlingual and intralingual boundaries and composes novel fusions – phenomena that cannot be adequately accounted for by monolithic and monolingual approaches. However, the study points out that languaging does less descriptive justice to the other side of sustaining the possibility of human meaning-making, namely, that, while we may be able to language when communicating, we are also languaged communicators. In learning to manipulate language for meaning-making purposes, that is, to language, we are manipulated by language and, if we want to be intelligible, have to conform to its patterns and conceptual distinctions in the here and now.

Multimodal analysis of human communication shows that oral language operates as one of a number of semiotic resources which work concurrently and cooperatively as a whole to produce naturally occurring interaction. In terms of interactional dynamics, the contribution of languaging is configured into a framework of modes which interilluminate each other to invigorate and specify local meaningful action. From this view, the privileging of language action which languaging as discursive practice suggests, creates a boundary between the operations of language and other communicative resources which risks misrepresenting the multilayered nature of human interaction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keywords [en]
languaging, classroom interaction, semiotic resources
National Category
Pedagogy Learning
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69078OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-69078DiVA, id: diva2:1251467
Conference
European Association for Research and Instruction (EARLI), Social interaction research Conference. Open Spaces for Interaction and Learning Diversities, Padova, Italy, August 27-30, 2014
Available from: 2018-09-27 Created: 2018-09-27 Last updated: 2018-09-27Bibliographically approved

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St John, Oliver

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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  • en-US
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  • sv-SE
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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