Market Lingos and Metrolingua Francas

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Multilingual Research Journal, 2014, 8 (4), pp. 255 - 270
Issue Date:
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© , Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Drawing on data recorded in two city markets, this article analyzes the language practices of workers and customers as they go about their daily business, with a particular focus on the ways in which linguistic resources, everyday tasks, and social spaces are intertwined in producing metrolingua francas. The aim of the article is to come to a better understanding of the relationships among the use of diverse linguistic resources (drawn from different languages, varieties, and registers), the repertoires of the workers, the activities in which they are engaged, and the larger space in which this occurs. Developing the idea of spatial repertoires as the linguistic resources available in particular places, we explore the ways in which metrolingua francas (metrolingual multilingua francas) emerge from the spatial resources of such markets.
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