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Language Varieties Between Norms and Attitudes

South Slavic Perspectives- Proceedings from the 2013 CALS Conference

Anita Peti-Stantic, Mateusz Milan Stanojevic and Goranka Antunovic

This volume brings together thirteen articles presented at the 27th 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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Matched guise technique revisited: The Zagreb case study



This paper analyses the results obtained by applying the matched guise technique to research into the attitudes of speakers from linguistically heterogeneous larger urban areas towards different varieties. The expected results indicate that members of a particular language community will rate speakers of the standard variety significantly higher in the dimension of social status, but much lower in the dimension of social solidarity, while the opposite will apply to speakers of the local variety. A representative sample of Zagreb high-school students was tested for attitudes towards the standard variety and urban varieties of Zagreb by applying a matched guise test. The results show that a part of the sample population rated the speaker of Standard Croatian much higher on solidarity than the speaker of the local variety, while both speakers were rated the same on status. It is concluded that in this area the matched guise technique achieves expected results when used to examine smaller and linguistically homogenous environments, while results obtained in bigger urban environments deviate from those expected due to the impact of certain sociolinguistic variables.

Mixoglottia, the extreme level of stratification of urban vernaculars and the problem of representativeness of informants are just some of the inherent difficulties urban dialectologists encounter in every analysis. The advantage of the sociolinguistic approach to analysing urban speech is in the fact that it offers explanations for phenomena which traditional dialect research cannot explain. Furthermore, only sociolinguistic research includes an analysis of speakers’ attitudes towards language phenomena...

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