Matching Items (41)

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A Sociolinguistic Analysis of a Regional Dialect of Sicilian

Description

The rise of Italian in Sicily contrasts with a fierce regional pride that makes it difficult to determine the possible fate of Sicilian. This project focuses on a sociolinguistic analysis

The rise of Italian in Sicily contrasts with a fierce regional pride that makes it difficult to determine the possible fate of Sicilian. This project focuses on a sociolinguistic analysis of the dialect of Sicilian spoken in and around Catania, Sicily. While there are programs in place to protect the language, the institutionalization of Italian in Sicily may be encroaching on Sicilian's use, especially with younger generations. The lure of the more industrialized North creates a culture of immigration in Sicily, which increasingly rewards the use of Italian. Using information from background research, a survey analyzing sociolinguistic factors and the individual's fluency in and use of Sicilian was created. The data from the survey showed that while understanding of Sicilian was fairly universal among participants, an individual's use and proficiency in Sicilian were most influenced by age and current place of residence (inside or outside Sicily). Younger people tended to know and use Sicilian less, and older participants tended to be more confident in their abilities and to use Sicilian more often. This is slightly complicated by an additional trend among participants currently living outside of Sicily towards a lower level of use and knowledge of Sicilian. All participants placed a significant emphasis on maintaining the ability to speak Sicilian, and on Sicilian language as an integral part of Sicilian culture.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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A Capital Power: The French Influence on the American Understanding of the Upper Class

Description

A social phenomenon in the United States characterizes French language and culture by aristocracy and prestige, sometimes even going so far as to align francophones with pretentiousness or false sophistication.

A social phenomenon in the United States characterizes French language and culture by aristocracy and prestige, sometimes even going so far as to align francophones with pretentiousness or false sophistication. By means of etymological analysis of the registers of American politics, economics, higher education, fashion, and art, I present the remarkable consistency (if not disproportionality) of French-derived vocabulary within the lexicons of these upper class cultural territories. Final conclusion is reached using the analytic lenses of linguist Norman Fairclough and sociologist Thorstein Veblen in their respective works Language and Power and Theory of the Leisure Class, which together supply a sociolinguistic understanding of the French-elite nexus. Using such information, I seek to explain the phenomenon as an American ideological concept. As French expressions are substantially and conspicuously employed within the lexicons and customs of the aforementioned cultural territories of the American upper class, French lexicality and culture become entangled with high society (sociolexical entanglement) and popular aesthetics (vogue lexicality). This intermixture subsequently engenders a French-elite nexus that manifests through either lexical emulation or lexical disaffection. To illustrate this occurrence, I offer evidence of America's persuasion of its upper class's association with French by presenting relevant expressions in the class-pervasive medium of American cinema. I argue that, in entirety, these sociolexical components frame the development of a larger French-elite ideology.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Negotiating Bilingualism: Reflections on Lived Experiences

Description

This study examined how second-generation Mexican American students talked about negotiating bilingualism in Arizona, where Spanish is associated with a social group considered to be problematic in the local anti-immigrant

This study examined how second-generation Mexican American students talked about negotiating bilingualism in Arizona, where Spanish is associated with a social group considered to be problematic in the local anti-immigrant context. Using tools and approaches from narrative analysis, I analyzed testimonies collected through interviewing, a method within the field of sociolinguistics to elicit qualitative data, to understand how the narratives reveal insight into the social processes and ideological structures that are present in any given context. I modeled my study after Anna de Fina (2003) and her analysis of immigrant discourse. Anna de Fina (2003) along with Koven (2001), and Bamberg (2011) all devise frameworks in which narratives emerge through interactional contexts during interviews where the interviewee engages in constructing not only a narrative along with the interview but also the representation of his/her identity. Contributing to this literature, my analysis demonstrates the role of language ideologies in narrative constructions of identity, the fluid nature of identity performances, and the power of autobiographical storytelling to challenge or contest dominant discourses about a language and its speakers. Findings show that participants began to value their own bilingualism more after entering into dominant culture, where their negotiation of identity stood on intermediary ground and was conceived as a process, belonging was found with other bilinguals, and bilingualism was viewed as a resource capable of providing innovative ways of conceiving of belonging and identity.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Understanding Linguistic Variation in American Sign Language

Description

Take a moment to reflect on your day to day life. Think about the conversation you have with your barista at Starbucks, the polite hellos and you’re welcomes you pass

Take a moment to reflect on your day to day life. Think about the conversation you have with your barista at Starbucks, the polite hellos and you’re welcomes you pass out to strangers on the street, or the sound of your best friend’s latest story. Society could not exist without language. Every person utilizes language within their own spaces and communities to establish their identities and relationships with the world around them. The Linguistic Society of America classifies sociolinguistics as the investigation of how “language use symbolically represents fundamental dimensions of social behavior and human interaction.” Broadly, sociolinguistics looks at language’s relationship to and function within society.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Thai English as a variety

Description

This study is about Thai English (ThaiE), a variety of World Englishes that is presently spoken in Thailand, as the result of the spread of English and the recent Thai

This study is about Thai English (ThaiE), a variety of World Englishes that is presently spoken in Thailand, as the result of the spread of English and the recent Thai government policies towards English communication in Thailand. In the study, I examined the linguistic data of spoken ThaiE, collected from multiple sources both in the U.S.A. and Thailand. The study made use of a qualitative approach in examining the data, which were from (i) English interviews and questionnaires with 12 highly educated Thai speakers of English during my fieldwork in the Southwestern U.S.A., Central Thailand, and Northeastern Thailand, (ii) English speech samples from the media in Thailand, i.e. television programs, a news report, and a talk radio program, and (iii) the research articles on English used by Thai speakers of English. This study describes the typology of ThaiE in terms of its morpho-syntax, phonology, and sociolinguistics, with the main focus being placed on the structural characteristics of ThaiE. Based on the data, the results show that some of the ThaiE features are similar to the World Englishes features, but some are unique to ThaiE. Therefore, I argue that ThaiE is structurally considered a new variety of World Englishes at the present time. The findings also showed an interesting result, regarding the notion of ThaiE by the fieldwork interview participants. The majority of these participants (n=6) denied the existence of ThaiE, while the minority of the participants (n=5) believed ThaiE existed, and one participant was reluctant to give the answer. The study suggested that the participants' academic backgrounds, the unfamiliar notion of ThaiE, and the level of the participants' social interaction with everyday persons may have influenced their answers to the main research question.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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The use and perception of English In Brazilian magazine advertisements

Description

This study investigates the uses of English in advertising in Brazil and the attitudes of Brazilians towards the use of different difficulty levels of English in advertising. Using a two

This study investigates the uses of English in advertising in Brazil and the attitudes of Brazilians towards the use of different difficulty levels of English in advertising. Using a two part, mixed-methods approach, drawing from quantitative and qualitative methods, I utilized a corpus study to examine English uses in Brazilian magazines and a survey to investigate the difficulty of English slogans as a determinant for people's attitudes towards English in advertising. For the first part, three major Brazilian news magazines, Veja, Época, and ISTOÉ were used. From three issues of each magazine, results showed that 57% of the advertisements in all nine magazines contained English in different parts of the advertisements, with most occurrences in the product name, followed by the body copy, headline, subheadline, and slogan. English was used to advertise a number of different product types, but was especially used for advertising cars, electronics, events, and banks. It was also found that the majority of English was used for its symbolic representations of modernity, prestige, globalization, and reliability. Using a survey for the second part of the study, I investigated how Brazilian participants judged four advertisements that featured English slogans that were comparable to slogans judged to be easy or difficult to understand in a similar study conducted by Hornikx, van Meurs, and de Boer (2010). Participants were offered attitudinal choices to mark off on a 4-point Likert scale, where they indicated their attitudes towards the English slogans provided. They were also asked to determine if they understood the slogans and to translate them to indicate their actual understanding of the slogans. Participants showed more positive attitudes towards the uses of English than negative attitudes. The survey provided evidence that with the very low numbers of correctly translated slogans, many participants believed they understood the slogans, which could prove to be more of an indicator of positive attitudes than their actual understanding of the slogans. This project provides an example from one Expanding Circle context touched by the far-reaching influences of World Englishes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Spanish address forms in US newspapers

Description

Advertisements intend to persuade the reader to invest money or time in a product or service. Newspapers contain advertisements that are space-limited, thus necessitating a concise and convincing message that

Advertisements intend to persuade the reader to invest money or time in a product or service. Newspapers contain advertisements that are space-limited, thus necessitating a concise and convincing message that will influence readers. Nord (2008) analyzed conative function (Jakobson 1960) as a persuasive tool in a corpus of Spanish, English, and German advertising texts. A portion of Nord's study focused on sender attitude indicators directed at addressees as a key element of conative function, and analyzed address forms among several attitude indicators found in print advertisements. The current study analyzed 604 Spanish newspaper advertisements in Arizona and Florida, focusing on possible independent factors related to the probability of the occurrence of various address forms. These factors included: the type of product being advertized and its cost, the nature of the advertisement, the location of the advertisement in the newspaper (main section, sports, etc.), intended audience (including age and sex), geographic region of the newspaper, and each newspaper as compared to others. These variables were categorized and statistically analyzed using a quantitative design. The study provided results indicating a strong statistical relationship between the presence of address forms and product type, a moderate relationship with audience age, and a mild relationship with product cost. Various similarities and differences were also found when comparing the data geographically.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Changing language loyalty and identity: an ethnographic inquiry of societal transformation among the Javanese people in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Description

This study examines changing language loyalties of the sociopolitically most dominant ethnic group in Indonesia, the Javanese. Although Javanese language has the largest number of speakers, within the last five

This study examines changing language loyalties of the sociopolitically most dominant ethnic group in Indonesia, the Javanese. Although Javanese language has the largest number of speakers, within the last five decades the language is gradually losing its speakers who prioritize the national language, Indonesian. This phenomenon led me to inquire into the extent to which their native language matters for their Javanese identity and how the language planning and policy (LPP) mechanism works to foster Javanese language. To collect data, I conducted a six-month ethnographic research project in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The findings show that Javanese language shift occurs because of strong supports from the government toward Indonesian by emphasizing its role as a symbol to unify all ethnic groups in Indonesia into one nation. Consequently, interference in intergenerational language transmission, a limited scope of Javanese use, decrease language competence, and negative attitude toward Javanese are evident. Although Javanese language is still perceived as the most profound marker of Javanese identity, it is now challenging to maintain it because of its limited role in most domains. The study also indicates that the Javanese people are now strongly inclined to Islam reflected by their piety to Islamic rules such as positive attitude to learn liturgic Arabic, to leave behind Javanese tradition not in line with Islam, and to view religion as a panacea to heal social problems. This high regard for Islam is also evident in schools. Furthermore, the Javanese people value highly English although nobody uses it as a medium of daily communication. However, the fact that English is tested in the secondary education national exams and the university entrance exam makes it necessary

for people to learn it. In addition, English is regarded as a modern, intellectual, and elite language. In short, the Javanese people perceive English as an avenue to achieve academic and professional success as well as higher social status. Altogether, this study shows that shifting language loyalty among the Javanese people is an indication of societal transformation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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A sociopragmatic study of the congratulation strategies of Saudi Facebook users

Description

The aim in this sociopragmatic study was to identify the linguistic and nonlinguistic types of responses used by Saudi Facebook users in the comments of congratulations on the events of

The aim in this sociopragmatic study was to identify the linguistic and nonlinguistic types of responses used by Saudi Facebook users in the comments of congratulations on the events of happy news status updates on Facebook. People usually express their feelings and emotions positively to others when they have happy occasions. However, the ways of expressing congratulation may vary because the expressive speech act “congratulations” is not the only way to express happiness and share others their happy news, especially on the new social media such as Facebook. The ways of expressing congratulation have been investigated widely in face-to-face communication in many languages. However, this has not yet been studied on Facebook, which lacks prosodic strategies and facial expressions that help to convey feelings, despite a few contributions on studying various expressive speech acts such as compliment, condolences, and wishing, among others. Therefore, a total of 1,721 comments of congratulation were collected from 61 different occasions and analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively by using the frame-based approach to understand the construction of politeness of congratulation on Facebook. The results showed 23 verbal types of responses used by the users; however, the use of “congratulations,” “offer of good wishes,” “praise,” and “statements indicating the situation was warranted” were the most frequently used strategies. The results also showed 100 patterns of verbal compound strategies, but the use of “congratulations” with “offer of good wishes” was the most frequently used compound strategy. In addition, 42 types of emojis were found in the comments and categorized into seven different functions. However, the function of expressing endearment was the most frequently used one. Finally, the results showed that the posts received 31 sharings and 3 types of emoji reactions, such as “like” (Thumbs up), “love” (Beating heart), and “wow” (Surprised face), but the use of “like” was the most frequent emoji reaction to the posts. The explored different ways of expressing congratulation and sharing with others their happy news indicated that the linguistic strategies are not the only way to express happiness on Facebook. Therefore, users employed nonlinguistic strategies to express happiness and intensify their congratulations.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Glottal fry in college aged females: an entrainment phenomenon?

Description

Glottal fry is a vocal register characterized by low frequency and increased signal perturbation, and is perceptually identified by its popping, creaky quality. Recently, the use of the glottal fry

Glottal fry is a vocal register characterized by low frequency and increased signal perturbation, and is perceptually identified by its popping, creaky quality. Recently, the use of the glottal fry vocal register has received growing awareness and attention in popular culture and media in the United States. The creaky quality that was originally associated with vocal pathologies is indeed becoming “trendy,” particularly among young women across the United States. But while existing studies have defined, quantified, and attempted to explain the use of glottal fry in conversational speech, there is currently no explanation for the increasing prevalence of the use of glottal fry amongst American women. This thesis, however, proposes that conversational entrainment—a communication phenomenon which describes the propensity to modify one’s behavior to align more closely with one’s communication partner—may provide a theoretical framework to explain the growing trend in the use of glottal fry amongst college-aged women in the United States. Female participants (n = 30) between the ages of 18 and 29 years (M = 20.6, SD = 2.95) had conversations with two conversation partners, one who used quantifiably more glottal fry than the other. The study utilized perceptual and quantifiable acoustic information to address the following key question: Does the amount of habitual glottal fry in a conversational partner influence one’s use of glottal fry in their own speech? Results yielded the following two findings: (1) according to perceptual annotations, the participants used a greater amount of glottal fry when speaking with the Fry conversation partner than with the Non Fry partner, (2) statistically significant differences were found in the acoustics of the participants’ vocal qualities based on conversation partner. While the current study demonstrates that young women are indeed speaking in glottal fry in everyday conversations, and that its use can be attributed in part to conversational entrainment, we still lack a clear explanation of the deeper motivations for women to speak in a lower vocal register. The current study opens avenues for continued analysis of the sociolinguistic functions of the glottal fry register.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015