Multilingual interactions and code-mixing in Northwest Amazonia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The multilingualism of the Vaupés region in Northwest Amazonia has drawn attention from scholars for decades. This paper addresses issues involving code-switching and code-mixing in this region. The claim has often been repeated that in spite of intense multilingualism, code-mixing does not occur. I report findings that show this is not the case. This study is based on fieldwork in a Desano community in Colombia. This study documents code-switching and code-mixing and has important implications for the general claims that have been made. The data come from interactions among speakers of Eastern Tukanoan languages who have different ethnic affiliations but who engage in multilingual speech that violates what has been claimed to be prescribed norms of language that forbid code-mixing. The results contribute to the understanding of the linguistic practices of these people and correct misconceptions about their linguistic behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-154
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of American Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Code-mixing
  • Code-switching
  • Multilingualism
  • Northwest Amazonia
  • Tukanoan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Multilingual interactions and code-mixing in Northwest Amazonia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this