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Croatian-English code-switching patterns of Croatian Facebook users


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Lončarić, Jelena. (2014). Croatian-English code-switching patterns of Croatian Facebook users. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Kalogjera, Damir].

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After the extensive research and the related discussion, certain conclusions arise. The nature of Facebook language can be described as hybrid because the traditional lines between standard and vernacular varieties are blurred. Depending on who they consider they primary audience, the authors of Facebook posts adjust their linguistic choices accordingly, i.e. according to the linguistic expectations of the audience. In-group membership and individual and group identity construction are one of the main causes for CS. Except the audience, the authors also use CS depending on the domain which they are writing about. The most frequent domains that trigger CS are music, movies, Internet- and pop-culture, and CS most often bears the referential function to these domains. The switches are most often produced by young adults, as was shown by the data collected in the questionnaire. English is, therefore, primarily the language of young subculture-members and students of foreign languages, whose presence was recorded in the corpus and the questionnaire. The rest of the participants and CS-producers use English as an often-occurring phenomenon in the Croatian culture (which nowadays is under an ever-growing influence of English transmitted through the Internet, advertisements, music and other modern media) and under the influence of their competence in English as a universal means of communication in specific occasions (English as a lingua franca). English-culture concepts are omnipresent in their everyday lives, in some cases even without any associations with a particular subculture-group or without a high level of proficiency in English. It has also been noted that Facebook posts are both synchronous and asynchronous communication, or simply put - they are quasi-synchronous modes, on the basis of which we can state that Facebook users engaged in writing in comments, status updates and posts can spontaneously, but also via editing produce language on Facebook. For sure it can be stated that they are to a certain degree bilingual, but some of them, with their simple and in Croatian often used English constructions, can not be classified as prototypical bilinguals. Therefore, it can be concluded that code-switching patterns of Facebook users in Croatia are the patterns of minimal bilingualism and that their CS does not imply everyday successful offline communication in English. It can be stated that CS in Facebook posts is an indicator of minimal bilingualism, rather than conventionalized bilingualism. In order to specify the degree of bilingualism and provide a more detailed analysis of CS patterns of Croatian users of English on Facebook, future work should include studying private domains of FMC (Facebook chat and private asynchronous messages), and over an even longer period of time. Also, a case study on a small number of participants could be conducted. Other age groups could be targeted as subjects of the research. Namely, teenagers, young adults, adults and seniors in order to observe each groups’ frequency of Croatian-English CS. Due to the recent trends in usage of English in both international communication and, as is the case in this paper, within the Croatian language, or together with Croatian in the same conversation (excluding anglicisms), it can be assumed that the role of English will be ever-growing. However, the question remains to which level it will spread and in what ways Croatian will adapt and/or resist its influence.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Kalogjera, Damir
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2015 12:29
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2015 12:29

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