In Other Words: Language Mixing, Identity Representations, and Third Space

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This paper analyzes the use of Hindi in English newspapers in India to argue that code-switching creates a discursive space - a third space (Bhabha 1994)-where two systems of identity representation converge in response to global-local tensions on the one hand, and dialogically constituted identities, formed through resistance and appropriation, on the other. The results of the analysis of data show that code-switching: (1) reflects a new socio-ideological consciousness; (2) yields a new way to negotiate and navigate between a global identity and local practices; and (3) offers a new linguistic diacritic for class-based expressions of cultural identity. Based on these results, I conclude that code-switching, as linguistic hybridity, is a third space where social actors (re-)position themselves with regard to new community-practices of speaking, reading, and writing. It is in this space that actors are presumed to have the capacity to synthesize, to transform: code-switching serves as a visible marker of this transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-200
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Sociolinguistics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Code-switching
  • Global-local
  • Hybridity
  • Identity representation
  • Language ideology
  • Third space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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