Estonian–English Code Alternation in Fashion Blogs: Structure, Norms and Meaning

  • Anna VerschikEmail author
  • Helin Kask


This chapter focuses on code alternation (CA) in English–Estonian language contacts in Estonian fashion blogs. CA has not often been addressed in the contact-linguistic literature. A prototypical CA is a stretch of another language that is more or less syntactically independent (a sentence, a clause, a longer stretch), as opposed to one-word other language items or insertions. Muysken (One speaker, two languages. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 177–198, 1995; Bilingual speech: A typology of code-mixing. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000) proposes explanations why CA occurs and our aim is to examine if these explanations work in the case of Estonian–English language contacts. We argue that the presence of CA and insertions cannot be explained only by proficiency in and attitudes towards English. Attitudes and proficiency do count, as positive attitudes enable a greater exposure to English, while proficiency gives more choice. However, it appears that meaning (specific terms and topic), the genre of computer-mediated communication (CMC, i.e., asynchronous, monologic, more written-like) and text-type norms (implicit fashion blogging norms) are factors that also have to be considered when describing structural and sociolinguistic reasons for CA.


Code alternation Blogs Language contacts Estonian English 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tallinn UniversityTallinnEstonia

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