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Language Varieties Between Norms and Attitudes

South Slavic Perspectives- Proceedings from the 2013 CALS Conference

Edited By Anita Peti-Stantic, Mateusz Milan Stanojevic and Goranka Antunovic

This volume brings together thirteen articles presented at the 27 th International Conference of the Croatian Applied Linguistics Society held in Dubrovnik in 2013. The authors explore four groups of issues: stability and change at the intersection of the standard and other varieties; language policy and language attitudes in relation to the status of L1 and L2; bilingualism and multilingualism; translation solutions reaffirming and/or establishing the norm. The articles focus on the contemporary Croatian and Slovenian sociolinguistic situation, relating it to the current situation in Europe.
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Dialect electrified or horse-drawn: Popular music as a form of (un)conscious language policy

Abstract

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Two dogmas often prevail when language issues are discussed in Croatia. One argues that the standard language, although designed on a neo-Štokavian basis, permanently enriches itself from Kajkavian and Čakavian dialectal sources. The other one warns that local idioms are dying out because of the pressures of the standard language and Global English, as well as the younger generation’s alienation from traditional ways of life. The mythologization of rural local idioms ignores the natural formation of urban and regional varieties, and new types of prestige-acquisition, in which popular culture genres, especially rock music, play an important role.

For that reason the author analyses media interviews with Edi Maružin, the leader of the band Gustafi from Istria, and with Pavle Sviličić, whose band Kopito is based in Zagreb, but its members are natives of Dalmatian islands; both of them write and sing in their native varieties. These sources have enabled relevant sociolinguistic insights, such as: a) the reconstruction of the speaker’s linguistic biography and self-reflection; b) attitudes concerning relationships among the local idiom, the standard language and Global English; c) the perception that local idioms are not as endangered by the standard language as by the most prominent urban vernacular in the respective region; d) judgments on the supralocal intelligibility of their songs; e) conflicts with dialectal purists, etc.

This paper argues for further research into these linguistic practices and self-reflexive discourses, having in mind that they have a much stronger influence...

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