BEN RAMPTON, Crossing:
adolescents. (Real language series). London
& New York: Longman, 1995. Pp. xx, 384.
a1 Language Education, University of
Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7123, firstname.lastname@example.org
Language “crossing,” the term coined
by Rampton to describe codeswitching by linguistic outsiders,
is itself not a new phenomenon. It is part of the experience
of the immigrant, the tourist, the exchange student, and
increasingly, any participant in a large urban community.
Recently such crossing has attracted broad interest, and
the depth of the experience – the “motions
and flavors of ... vastly different subjectivities”
that are possible through language crossing (Hoffman 1989:210)
– has been explored in several memoirs devoted to
such experience (Hoffman 1989, Davidson 1993, Kaplan 1994,
Torgovnick 1994). Like these literary explorers, some scholars
of language have begun to notice the poetic potential of
language crossing, as well as the often undervalued insight
of the “non-native speaker” (Kramsch 1997).
Amid this increasing recognition of language diversity,
and reflection on the human complexity of multilingual
interactions and communities, Rampton's book brings
sociolinguistic and anthropological insight to the analysis