Enduring and contemporary code-switching practices in northern australia

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2 Citations (Scopus)


In Maningrida, northern Australia, code-switching is a commonplace phenomenon within a complex of both longstanding and more recent language practices characterised by high levels of linguistic diversity and multilingualism. Code-switching is observable between local Indigenous languages and is now also widespread between local languages and English and/or Kriol. In this paper, I consider whether general predictions about the nature and functioning of code-switching account for practices in the Maningrida context. I consider: (i) what patterns characterise longstand-ing code-switching practices between different Australian languages in the region, as opposed to code-switching between an Australian language and Kriol or English? (ii) how do the distinctions observable align with general predictions and constraints from dominant theoretical frameworks? Need we look beyond these factors to explain the patterns? Results indicate that general predictions, including the effects of typological congruence, account for many observable tendencies in the data. However, other factors, such as constraints exerted by local ideologies of multilingualism and linguistic purism, as well as shifting socio-interactional goals, may help account for certain distinct patterns in the Maningrida data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number90
Number of pages25
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Arnhem Land
  • Australian Indigenous languages
  • Code-switching
  • Congruence
  • Language ideologies
  • Small-scale multilingualism

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