Read e-book online Alsatian Acts of Identity: Language Use and Language PDF

By Vassberg

ISBN-10: 0585125937

ISBN-13: 9780585125930

ISBN-10: 1853591734

ISBN-13: 9781853591730

A German dialect spoken in Alsace (France), has swiftly misplaced solution to French because 1945. This ebook investigates language selection, language attitudes and ethnic id in Alsace this present day. The Alsatian case research issues out the complicated interrelationship of linguistic and identification swap with historic, social and mental methods.

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Extra resources for Alsatian Acts of Identity: Language Use and Language Attitudes in Alsace (Multilingual Matters)

Example text

After World War I, the percentage of Alsatians who could speak French fluently is estimated at 2%, and another 8% of the population had a 'relative knowledge of French' (Maugué, 1970: 149). While the majority of Alsatians welcomed their return to French rule in 1918, misunderstandings were bound to occur. The French had assumed that Alsatians would welcome quick and total assimilation, while Alsatians knew very little about contemporary France. Their patriotism was based on their pre-1870 perception of France.

They should be supplemented by descriptions of everyday language use at the micro level. Consequently, this study is an attempt at integrating fieldwork and survey methods. The data analyzed include: answers to questionnaires on language attitudes and language use; audio tapes of natural conversations between Alsatians, and tapes of interviews of Alsatian bilinguals; notes taken during and after participant-observation; previous studies and findings; and historical surveys of the area. The assumption is that 'data from a variety of distinct sources and methods, properly interpreted, can be used to converge on right answers to hard questions' (Labov, 1972: 119).

The development of standard German (new High German) took place outside of Alsace, after the Thirty Years War and Alsace's annexation to France in 1648. Marthe Philipp (1985: 22) writes that 'la formation de la koiné allemande se fera ailleurs, les Alsaciens n'y participeront plus guère, en tousles cas pas ceux qui resteront en Alsace'. Standard German developed mainly 'from the written language of government and business of East Middle German, the standardization process being primarily a written one' (Hessini, 1981: 38).

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Alsatian Acts of Identity: Language Use and Language Attitudes in Alsace (Multilingual Matters) by Vassberg


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