SPANISH/ENGLISH CODESWITCHING IN A WRITTEN CORPUS. Laura Callahan. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 2004. Pp. viii + 183. $108.00 cloth.
Despite a vast literature on oral codeswitching—the use of more than one language within a single conversation—codeswitching as a written literary practice has remained largely underinvestigated. In redressing this imbalance, Callahan examines Spanish-English codeswitching in literary texts from a grammatical and a discourse function perspective. The analysis of a corpus of 30 novels and shorts stories suggests that there is a “fundamental similarity” between written and spoken codeswitching and that written codeswitching “does not require a separate model of syntactic constraints” (p. 69). Callahan also argues that written codeswitching is far from an artificial literary device; not only does it fulfill the same authentic discourse functions reported for oral codeswitching but its use constitutes authors' strategic “rejection of monolingual English as well as of monolingual Spanish” (p. 145) in a redefined sociolinguistic market.