Abstract Sociolinguists have recently suggested a range of new terms to re-conceptualise language and language use. Most of these are based on the empirical documentation of speakers using linguistically hybrid constructions which are understood as reflecting speakers’ orientation to norms of linguistic hybridity. In this article we bring data typical of SLA research and sociolinguistic theorisation together by discussing data collected among Swiss German university students learning Danish in the light of such sociolinguistic concepts. We show how in some cases, the students signal investment in and alignment with hybrid language use, but in others the students “polylanguage” from a form-analytic point of view, while the co- and context suggest they orient strongly to an idea of “pure” Danish. In these cases their hybrid linguistic productions are more likely to be explained by their status as language learners. We argue that these observations point to the need for a closer consideration of speaker stances towards language forms as well as a need for considering repertoire restrictions and learner ambitions in current sociolinguistic conceptualisations of linguistic hybridity.
Applied Linguistics Review – de Gruyter
Published: Sep 1, 2016