Volume 23, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
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Research on language contact has so far mainly focused on oral situations, although standardization and language ideologies always have an important influence on multilingualism in both its written and its spoken form. This raises the question of which theoretical models are most suitable for the description of written language contact. The present paper recalls linguistic investigations of written language. Some research on multilingual writing shares concepts with research on oral language contacts, always adapting them for writing. Other research develops new concepts for investigating multilingual writing. Within the framework of research on multilingualism, some concepts approach language contact as a question of systematic interactions between linguistic systems (e.g. borrowing, code-switching, graphematic matrix, schriftdenken), other concepts envisage language contact as a multilingual practice (e.g. translanguaging, multimodal analysis, biliteracy). Written language contact is an especially fruitful field of study for pointing out major differences between these two research traditions and for bridging them.


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