Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Letters and Arts
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Code-switching in Literatures Written in Peripheral Languages: Multilingualism and Discursive Strategies in the Nineteenth-Century Romanian Novel
Abstract: My study aims to address the phenomenon of literary multilingualism in the nineteenth-century Romanian novel. Based on Johan Heilbron’s approach on “translations as a cultural world-system” and his classification into hyper-central, central, semi-peripheral and peripheral languages, my analysis discusses the nineteenth-century Romanian language at an early stage of its consolidation and thus in self-colonial and anti-colonial relations to the “hegemony” of the French language. Taking advantage of this framework, I consider that the majority of literary code-switching examples faithfully render these linguistic relations, so my study proposes a classification of literary multilingualism into the following possible categories: a livresque multilingualism, which satisfies the self-colonial tendencies of the nineteenth-century language, a latent multilingualism, which can also be associated with an attempt at linguistic bovarisation, but also with the search for authenticity in novels through suggestion and “explicit attribution” (Meir Sternberg), a thesistic multilingualism, in such cases where the novel didactically presents foreign language insertions, and a functional multilingualism. Finally, my paper also launches a discussion of another type of multilingualism, that as a source for “defamiliarization”, which I expect to find in the Romanian novel of the twentieth century, when the Romanian language is no longer in danger of self-colonization and passes by the incipient stage, the phenomenon of code-switching serving Viktor Shklovsky’s technique of “defamiliarization”.
Keywords: code-switching in literature, literary multilingualism, Romanian language as peripheral language, nineteenth-century Romanian novel, typology of multilingualism.
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