Date of Award

Spring 5-2006

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

John Sundquist

Committee Chair

Becky Brown

Committee Co-Chair

Jenny William


The purpose of the current study is to provide a more detailed account of the manifestation of identities via language. I look specifically at the most recent generation of Turkish-German bilinguals living in Germany. There are many linguistic characteristics ascribable to this generation of speakers, as has been the case with preceding generations. Three types of code-switching are described; intersentential, intrasentential and what I have called the hybrid code-switch. The latter hybrid codeswitch is observed as a more recent phenomenon, thus I designate it as characteristic of the most recent generation of Turkish-Gem1an bilinguals. This hybrid is composed of one Turkish unit as well as one German unit, both of which are combined into a single morphological unit in use by the bilingual. I propose that in many instances of hybrid forms , there are contexts which represent specific knowledge of both German social/cultural and Turkish social/cultural spheres. I have also provided several examples of hybrid forms which have been thus far observed and documented by other researchers. My own analysis, designating context to both German and Turkish components of the hybrid form, finds that several contexts may be related to Turkish or German identities. As a result of these switches occurring in a more restricted linguistic environment, I

suggest that incorporation of language is evidence for a shift in identity from Turkishdominant to German-inclusive, via language which reflects such contexts. There was shown to be at least some evidence of combined linguistic and identity crossing on the part of Turkish-German bilinguals. In light of this evidence, I suggest that researchers take a closer look at the role of language in identity shift. I further maintain the importance of research geared toward the understanding of language as a symbol. This may better allow us to understand the role of language for the process of enculturation for consequent generations of immigrant populations in their respective host countries.