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International Journal of the Sociology of Language

Ed. by Fishman, Joshua A. / Garcia Otheguy, Ofelia

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ERIH category 2011: INT2



Accommodating “new” speakers? An attitudinal investigation of L2 speakers of Welsh in south-east Wales

Elen Robert1

1Bangor University

Citation Information: International Journal of the Sociology of Language. Volume 2009, Issue 195, Pages 93–115, ISSN (Online) 1613-3668, ISSN (Print) 0165-2516, DOI: 10.1515/IJSL.2009.007, January 2009

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This article presents the main findings of a study investigating common linguistically defined stereotypes of speakers of Welsh who have acquired Welsh through Welsh-medium education in south-east Wales (second-language speakers). In the sociolinguistic contexts of language shift and language conflict in Wales, which have heightened purist attitudes towards an idealised standard variety and towards the traditional dialects, some negative attitudes towards second-language speech and second-language speakers have come to the fore in Welsh-language public discourse and among the general Welsh-speaking population. Eighty-five respondents, representing a reasonable cross-section of the Welsh-speaking population, evaluated the spontaneous speech of four female second-language speakers from south-east Wales and two first-language speakers from less Anglicised areas. Data were collected on scales relating to perceived language competence, perceived ethnicity, and evaluations of social attractiveness and prestige. Results suggest that Welsh speakers stereotype south-eastern second-language speakers of Welsh according to their perceived language competence.

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