Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

Pour une sociophonétique des ethnolectes suisses-allemands

Schmid, Stephan

In: Revue Tranel (Travaux neuchâtelois de linguistique), 2011, vol. 53, p. 93-109

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    Over the last ten years or so, '(multi)ethnolects' – i.e. the language varieties of young immigrants – have attracted the attention of sociolinguists from several European countries. The most promising theoretical model (Auer 2003) distinguishes between primary, secondary and tertiary ethnolects, depending on whether the observed features appear in the speech of the immigrants themselves or if they are imitated by comedians and by youngsters without an immigrant background. The present contribution illustrates the dynamic nature of such 'ethnolectal' features in Swiss German in the light of Auer's model. Implications of our findings for a theory of sociophonetics are discussed, e.g. with regard to the sociolinguistic status of the involved variables (markers, indicators, stereotypes). Finally, it is pointed out that the realm of sociophonetic inquiry is shifting from the social characteristics of the language user towards different modes of language use.