Translanguaging and Hybrid Spaces: Boundaries and beyond in North Central Arnhem Land

Jill Vaughan, Gerardo Mazzaferro (Editor)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


This chapter explores how speakers in Maningrida, a linguistically diverse Indigenous community in northern Australia, negotiate and evaluate their language practices within ‘hybrid spaces’ (i.e. spaces shaped by the interaction of diverse groups, institutions and ways of speaking). The analysis draws on data from two settings – a public school event, and a football match – and I consider the ways in which a translanguaging lens may provide insights into the interactional and socio-psychological realities of lived multilingualism in Maningrida. The major focus of the chapter pertains to Burarra/English mixing. I discuss the nature and functions of this language practice, and note that while speakers appear to ‘soft assemble’ their linguistic resources to fit the communicative situation at hand, there are also observable constraints exerted by the morphosyntax of the contributing codes. This practice are situated against the backdrop of long-standing multilingualism and language ideologies in the Arnhem Land region. The chapter evaluates translanguaging as a possible useful addition to the nomenclatural and analytical toolbox of researchers in the Australian Indigenous context, and as an important step towards decolonising understandings of local language practice, and further provides critiques and suggestions for strengthening the model’s descriptive potential.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTranslanguaging as Everyday Practice
EditorsGerardo Mazzaferro
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783319948515
ISBN (Print)9783319948508
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameMultilingual Education Series
ISSN (Print)2213-3208
ISSN (Electronic)2213-3216

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