Matching Items (47)

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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 of the dialect of Sicilian spoken in and around Catania,

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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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. By means of etymological analysis of the registers of American

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 context. Using tools and approaches from narrative analysis, I analyzed

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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A bilingual, bicultural interpreter and researcher navigates blurry boundaries and intersectionality

Description

A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process of deaf students in kindergarten classrooms in three countries. The

A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process of deaf students in kindergarten classrooms in three countries. The course of this paper will focus on three instances that took place in Japan and America. The analysis of these examples will bring to light the concept of taking on multiple roles, including graduate research assistant, interpreter, cultural mediator, and sociolinguistic consultant within a research project serving to uncover challenging personal and professional dilemmas and crossing boundaries; the dual roles, interpreter and researcher being the primary focus. This analysis results in a brief look at a thought provoking, yet evolving task of the researcher/interpreter. Maintaining multiple roles in the study the researcher is able to potentially identify and contribute "hidden" knowledge that may have been overlooked by other members of the research team. Balancing these different roles become key implications when interpreting practice, ethical boundaries, and participant research at times the lines of separation are blurred.

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Created

Date Created
2011

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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 government policies towards English communication in Thailand. In the study,

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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Code-switching behavior in Antonito, CO and Phoenix, AZ: a comparative study

Description

The subject of bilingual language use in the southwestern United States has been widely researched. However research pertaining to the Phoenix Metropolitan area is lacking. Studies have shown that language choice is governed by linguistic as well as social constraints

The subject of bilingual language use in the southwestern United States has been widely researched. However research pertaining to the Phoenix Metropolitan area is lacking. Studies have shown that language choice is governed by linguistic as well as social constraints (Gumperz, 1977; Poplack 1980; 1981). This study examined and compared the code-switching behaviors of two communities in the southwestern United States: Antonito, Colorado and the Phoenix Metropolitan area in Arizona. The study explored the social and linguistic factors that are said to govern code-switching behaviors such as the type of switches made (intra-sentential or single lexical switches), the position in the utterance where the switch occurs (final or other), the direction of the switch (an utterance beginning in English and ending in Spanish, or beginning in Spanish and ending in English), the gender and level of education of the participants (college or above; high school or below), the ethnicity of the interviewer (Anglo or Hispanic), as well as which of the aforementioned social and linguistic factors most favored intra-sentential switches. The study used corpus data, with four participants from each community for a total of eight interviews. Participants from each corpus were selected to control for gender, the highest level of education achieved and the ethnicity of the interviewer. The study found that in the corpora looked at, linguistic factors such as position of the switch and direction of the switch affected intra-sentential switches more than social factors, although in terms of frequencies within individual factor groups, social factors such as the ethnicity of the interviewer, and the participant's level of education were found to be significant in affecting code-switching behavior.

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Created

Date Created
2013

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Addicted to "The Big Book: language, identity & discourse in the literacy practices of Alcoholics Anonymous

Description

The purpose of this study is to investigate the literacy practices of three members of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and to explore how they use these practices to support and maintain their recovery in their lives. This study also aims to

The purpose of this study is to investigate the literacy practices of three members of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and to explore how they use these practices to support and maintain their recovery in their lives. This study also aims to examine how each participant used specialist language, enacted certain identities and acquired the secondary Discourse in A.A. through literacy use. This dissertation study is the result of in-depth interviewing in which each participant was interviewed three times for 90-minutes. These interviews were then transcribed and analyzed using discourse analysis. Study results are presented in three chapters, each one designated to one of the participants. Within these chapters is a life history (chronology) of the participant leading up to the point in which they got sober. The chapters also include a thematic discourse analysis of the interview transcripts across themes of literacy practice and topics in A.A. A conclusion is then presented to investigate how literacy was used from a sociocultural perspective in the study. Due to the emotionally charged nature of this dissertation, it has been formatted to present the stories of the participants first, leaving the theoretical framework, literature review and research methods to be included as appendices to the main text.

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Created

Date Created
2013

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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 out to strangers on the street, or the sound of

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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Date Created
2020-05

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New directions in quantitative Hispanic sociolinguistics

Description

The present thesis explores how statistical methods are conceptualized, used, and interpreted in quantitative Hispanic sociolinguistics in light of the group of statistical methods espoused by Kline (2013) and named by Cumming (2012) as the “new statistics.” The new statistics,

The present thesis explores how statistical methods are conceptualized, used, and interpreted in quantitative Hispanic sociolinguistics in light of the group of statistical methods espoused by Kline (2013) and named by Cumming (2012) as the “new statistics.” The new statistics, as a conceptual framework, repudiates null hypothesis statistical testing (NHST) and replaces it with the ESCI method, or Effect Sizes and Confidence Intervals, as well as meta-analytic thinking. In this thesis, a descriptive review of 44 studies found in three academic journals over the last decade (2005 – 2015), NHST was found to have a tight grip on most researchers. NHST, much discredited outside of linguistics, confused authors who conflated the theories of Fisher and Neyman-Pearson, who themselves battled acrimoniously until the end of their publishing lives. Within the studies reviewed, with exceptions, dichotomous thinking ruled the quantitative approach, and binary reporting ruled the results and discussions. In addition, this thesis revealed that sociolinguistics, at least within the studies reviewed, is not exactly a “statistical monoculture” as suspected by Gorman and Johnson (2013), rather ANOVAs have joined Goldvarb’s logistic regression in its dominance. As described insightfully by Plonsky (2015), these two methods are exposed as extensions of the dichotomous thinking that attaches itself to NHST. Further, little evidence was found that the methods of the new statistics were being implemented in a coordinated fashion, including far too few meta-analyses. As such, quantitative Hispanic sociolinguistics, and linguistics in general, were shown to be vulnerable to problems with reliable quantitative theory building.

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Created

Date Created
2015

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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 decades the language is gradually losing its speakers who prioritize

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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Date Created
2015