You switch I switch, Jack: On the role of interaction in Cabo Verdean language mixing


  • Sophia Eakins University of Michigan, Ann Arbor



Cabo Verdean Creole, bilingualism, codeswitching, codemixing, language mixing, conversation analysis


This paper investigates the role turn-taking has in structuring language mixing practices in bilingual conversation. Previous research has observed that bilinguals prefer maintaining each other’s language usage e.g. Auer (1984: 28-29) ‘preference for same language talk.’ The present paper tests this hypothesis by exploring the language mixing patterns in the bilingual Cabo Verdean Creole (Kriolu)-English community in Boston. Two research questions drive the investigation: 1) How are bilinguals influencing each other’s language practices in an interactional context? 2) Are there observable contextual factors conditioning these interactional language practices? Four bilingual Kriolu-English conversations totaling 1.5 hours were analyzed focusing on the languages used at points of alternation between speaker turns. A quantitative analysis calculated the rate at which speakers maintained each other’s languages. Subsequently, a qualitative analysis explored possible contextual factors conditioning language change or maintenance. Results of the quantitative analysis show speakers have a broad preference for maintaining each other’s languages and the qualitative analysis supports that changing languages can be interactionally motivated.




How to Cite

Eakins, Sophia. 2024. “You Switch I Switch, Jack: On the Role of Interaction in Cabo Verdean Language Mixing”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 9 (1): 5699.