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Publication - Dr James Hawkey

    Language attitudes as predictors of morphosyntactic variation

    Evidence from Catalan speakers in southern France


    Hawkey, J, 2019, ‘Language attitudes as predictors of morphosyntactic variation: Evidence from Catalan speakers in southern France’. Journal of Sociolinguistics.


    This article explores the potential role of attitudes as motivating factors in language variation and change. This study represents an important and innovative departure from existing scholarship through its consideration of quantitative measures of language attitudes as factors in multivariate analyses of linguistic data. Four morphosyntactic variables in Northern Catalan (an obsolescent variety spoken in France) will be examined in order to determine which factors significantly correlate with use of local or supralocal variants. Linear regression modelling reveals firm correlations for two of the variables, wherein positive evaluations of Catalan varieties on the status dimension (cf. Carranza and Ryan 1975, Woolard 1989 inter alia) align with supralocal variant use. We will see that attitudes can be helpful in uncovering motivations for language variation, but that qualitative ideological data is indispensable in the interpretation of findings.

    Full details in the University publications repository