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Moravians in Prague

A Sociolinguistic Study of Dialect Contact in the Czech Republic


James Wilson

This book provides the first systematic description of the linguistic accommodation of Moravian migrants in Bohemia. By analyzing the linguistic behaviour of 39 university students from different parts of Moravia living at a hall of residence in Prague, the author investigates part of an unsubstantiated and ideologically motivated dialect contact hypothesis according to which in informal, everyday communication Moravians in Bohemia accommodate not in the direction of the standard dialect but to Common Czech, a non-standard interdialect that is spoken throughout Bohemia. The study combines a quantitative analysis of six linguistic variables with an ethnographic study of informants’ linguistic and social behaviour. A primary objective of the study is to identify the impact of various social criteria on informants’ acquisition of Common Czech forms.
Contents: Dialect contact – Accommodation theory – Standard Czech – Common Czech – Moravian dialects and interdialects – The variationist paradigm – Linguistic variables – Independent variables – Social network analysis – Participant observation – Statistical analysis.