“Quiero juksar en la julaftenito” – Playfulness and metalinguistic awareness in translingual family interactions
AuthorJohnsen, Ragni Vik
This article explores playfulness and creativity in translingual family interactions. In particular, it focuses on how and to what ends adolescents mobilize multilingual resources in family interactions. It investigates the cases of two multilingual families with adolescent children (13–18 years old). The families have different linguistic backgrounds, but have in common that one of the parents have migrated from a Spanish-speaking Latin-American country to Northern-Norway, and that Spanish represents a linguistic resource and a heritage language in the families. The data consists of self-recorded family interactions (29 recordings, ca. 5 h.) and were collected over the course of one year. By analysing interactions where the adolescents employ Spanish features, the article offers insights into how adolescents negotiate the position of the heritage language Spanish in the family. A close, turn-by-turn analysis demonstrates that the adolescents in a creative and playful manner employ a multitude of linguistic resources to fulfil interactional achievements: Through metalinguistic talk and playful translingual practices, the adolescents challenge and negotiate identities and family roles, exert agencies, and demonstrate metalinguistic awareness and sociolinguistic control.