Title: Towards a comprehensive insight on the use of Contemporary Urban Vernaculars: Cité Dutch in Flanders
Authors: Marzo, Stefania ×
Van De Mieroop, Dorien
Zenner, Eline #
Issue Date: May-2015
Conference: ICLAVE edition:8 location:Leipzig date:27-29 May 2015
Abstract: Contemporary research on the social meaning of variation has shown that in situation of language variation, the choice between alternating variants is a form of social behaviour relating to the attitudes towards the language varieties at play (Garrett 2010, Grondelaers & Kristiansen 2013, Ajzen & Fishbein 1980). In this paper, we want to reveal language regards towards non-standard varieties in Flanders (in particular regional varieties and ethnic varieties, as Cité Dutch) by scrutinizing youngsters’ alternation between vernacular and standard features in interaction. In particular we present a mixed methods approach to understanding how youngsters in Flanders perform style shifts in interaction by alternating between (urban) vernacular features, regional features and standard features.

Previous research (Marzo, Forthc.) has shown that attitudes towards urban vernaculars in Flanders are inextricably linked to prevailing standard language ideologies in Flanders and form a polarized indexical field fluctuating between positive poles (associated with humorous ways of speaking) and negative poles (associated with non-correct language). An important new perspective on the current language regards towards ethnic varieties of Dutch can be gained by studying the alternation between Cité Dutch features, regional features and Standard Dutch features.

We draw on a corpus of naturally-occurring interactions of 20 youngsters in several contexts (school, home, leisure) in Limburg (collected between 2011-2014). These interactions are coded for a series of social and interactional factors (e.g. speaker, hearer, emotional involvement) and for two linguistic variables. We scrutinize the alternation between Cité Dutch, the regional Limburg Dutch variety and Standard Dutch. In particular, we look at one Cité Dutch features (viz. the palatalization of [s] and [z] in [ʃ] and [ʒ] in first syllable position - e.g. stijl 'style', pronounced as [ʃtɛil] instead of [stɛil]) and one regional Limburg Dutch features (viz. the deletion of final –t in postconsonantic positions).

These alternations between Cité Dutch, regional Limburg Dutch and Standard Dutch are analyzed with a mixed method analysis whereby a quantitative analysis of the distribution of the variants across speakers (relying on mixed effect regression modeling) is complemented by an in-depth qualitative discursive analysis (focusing on how speakers construct and negotiate identities). This allows us to integrate in situ patterns of intra-speaker variation with aggregative patterns of inter-speaker variation.

This study offers a new and more comprehensive insight on standard and non-standard language use among youngsters in Flanders and contributes on the current debate on (de)standardization dynamics in Flanders. More broadly, it offers new perspectives on the role of multiethnolectal varieties on the (de)standardization dynamics in Europe (Kristiansen & Grondelaers 2013).

Ajzen, I., & M. Fishbein. 1980. Understanding attitudes and predicting social behaviour. USA: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Garrett, Peter 2010. Attitudes to Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Grondelaers, S. & T. Kristiansen 2013. On the need to access deep evaluations when searching for the motor of standard language change. In T. Kristiansen & S. Grondelaers (Eds.), Language (De)standardisation in Late Modern Europe : Experimental Studies. Copenhagen: Novus Press. p.9-54.
Kristiansen, T. & S. Grondelaers 2013. Language (De)standardisation in Late Modern Europe: Experimental Studies (Eds.). Copenhagen: Novus Press.
Marzo, S. (Forthc.). Exploring the social meaning of contemporary urban vernaculars: perceptions and attitudes about Citélanguage in Flanders. International Journal of Bilingualism.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Quantitative Lexicology and Variational Linguistics (QLVL), Leuven
Multimodality, Interaction and Discourse, Leuven
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

Files in This Item:

There are no files associated with this item.


All items in Lirias are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.