Kazakh-Russian Bilingual Practice: Code-Mixing as a Resource in Communicative Interaction

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Abstract

The present paper discusses the ethnic bilingual practice in Kazakhstan. The focus is on code-switching or, in other term, code-mixing in the Kazakh-Russian and RussianKazakh bilingualism. The bi- and multilingualism is characteristic for Kazakhstan and is caused by multiethnicity of the republic. Within this paper we are interested in identities of persons with more than one cultural background. The idea of the present investigation is a response to the sociolinguistics ‘third wave’, discourse analysis, linguistic anthropology. In this theoretical framework the research focus is on exploring linguistic variation as a medium used by individuals or social groups to evoke the social practice. It is crucial how semiotic ties are set between a linguistic sign and social context, how persistent social attribution is created through linguistic choices. Data collection for this study: we analyzed 300 contexts that show the Kazakh-Russian code-mixing in everyday and internet communication, and in modern Kazakh films reflecting the typical code-mixing practice. The data were gathered by doing observation, documentation, the analysis proceeded in a context-based interpretative way. In the framework suggested we show the code-switching/code-mixing not in terms of interference mistakes as heavily influenced by Russian language and culture, not as “linguistic errors” cases presupposed by low language competence of the speakers, but rather as a dynamic resource to shape the understanding in the communication. There are considerable nuances and complexity in the language mixed practice, that is not to be framed in pejorative terms.

About the authors

Sholpan K. Zharkynbekova

L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University

Email: zharkynbekova_shk@enu.kz
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4160-6215

Dr. Sc. in Linguistics, Professor, Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics

11, Kazimukyan str., Nur-Sultan, Republic of Kazahstan, 010008

Valeria E. Chernyavskaya

Peter the Great St. Petersburg Politechnic University

Author for correspondence.
Email: chernyavskaya_ve@spbstu.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6039-6305

Dr. Sc. in Linguistics, Professor, Institute of Humanities

19, Politechnicheskaya str., St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, 195251

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Copyright (c) 2022 Zharkynbekova S.K., Chernyavskaya V.E.

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