The term "code-switching" is used to describe the mixing of different language varieties which result from language contact. This is the first full-length study to examine code-switching in a European context. Throughout history, Alsace has been a meeting place of the Roman and Germanic worlds. Today most of the population speak a German dialect, alternating with French, which is the language of public life, education, and the media. Gardner-Chloros describes this exemplar of code-switching, investing the many layers of significance of this mode of speech in the Alsatian community.