Talk in Two Languages focuses on language alternation, presumably the most common aspect of linguistic behaviour among bilingual speakers. Joseph Gafaranga's starting point is that, at the theoretical level, language alternation in the same conversation is impossible in principle. He argues that the key question for research is how bilinguals actually manage to use two languages in the same conversation despite this theoretical impossibility. Drawing on Ethnomethodology, the issue is conceptualised as that of order in talk in two languages. From this basis he proposes a critical reading of current approaches to language alternation, both grammatical and socio-functional, as accounts of this essential problem of order. He also offers extended case studies which show how the ideas, concepts and methodologies surveyed can be used to address specific issues of order in bilingual conversation, how identified weaknesses might be overcome and how future work might proceed.

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