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Since the referendum on Scottish independence in September 2014, interest on national and local identity in Scotland has soared.
Anticipating this interest, the present analysis focuses on two major aspects: the local vernacular as employed in Hawick/Scottish Borders and its usage in the school context at Hawick High School. The emphasis lies on the present linguistic situation in terms of language usage and attitudes of both pupils and teachers.
The study supplies a brief social, linguistic, and historical outline of the Hawick community and Southern Scots.
The main part of the thesis is subdivided into two sections. Firstly, the linguistic situation in Hawick in general is illustrated and extralinguistic variables are taken into account whenever they prove to be statistically significant. Secondly, language use and attitudes towards the vernacular in the school context are explored.
The conclusion summarizes the most important results and might serve as an impetus for further dialect and attitude studies.
- AutorChristian Dietz-Verrier
- VerlagAnchor Academic Publishing
- Seiten104 Seiten
- Gewicht177 g
- LeseprobeText Sample:
Chapter 3, Methodology and attitudes:
Chapter 3.1 Attitudes and their measurement:
Since the present study tries to shed some light on language attitudes in a Scottish town, an overview of the major concepts underlying the word attitude shall be given here. Being very prominent in sociolinguistics studies today, research on language attitudes, however, did not begin until the seventies of the last century (Deprez & Persoons 1987: 125). Although there are at least two important and fundamentally different theories, practically everybody agrees that attitudes are learned from previous experience, and that they are not momentary but relatively enduring (Agheysi & Fishman 1970: 139).
The mentalist theory defines attitudes as a mental and neural state of readiness , and as such they are not directly observable but have to be inferred from the subject s introspection (Agheysi & Fishman 1970: 138). Plausible as this view is in theory, it often shows deficiencies when applied to empirical measurement. Since an attitude is rather an internal readiness than a measurable response, the scholar must depend on the person s reports of what their attitudes are, or infer attitudes directly from behaviour patterns (Fasold 1984: 147).
The behaviourist view simply explains attitudes as responses people make to social situations (Fasold 1984: 147), i.e. attitudes are overt responses or behaviour to a certain stimulus (Agheysi & Fishman 1970: 138). This theory of course does not pose too many problems in practice as the researcher only has to observe, collect and analyse the explicitly overt data. Critics, however, claim that if one accepts an extreme behaviourist approach, the collected data are not sufficient to predict other behaviour or responses as attitudes are seen as dependent variables (Agheysi & Fishman 1970: 138; Fasold 1984: 148).
Another difference between the two theories consists in the underlying structure of attitudes. While behaviourists regard attitudes as single, uni-dimensional units, mentalists distinguish between cognitive (knowledge), affective (feeling) and conative (action) components (Agheeysi & Fishman 1970: 138; Fasold 1984: 148). However, the interrelation between the components is neither simple nor straightforward, especially [t]he cognitive and affective components of attitude may not always be in harmony (Baker 1992: 12). Nevertheless, the present study mainly adopts the mentalist approach, i.e. the distinction between three components, outlined, amongst others, by Lambert & Lambert in 1964 and modernised and refined by Baker in 1992
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