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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton January 19, 2018

Cognitive cultural models at work: The case of German-speaking Switzerland

  • Rebekka Studler EMAIL logo


In the German-speaking part of Switzerland, people use Swiss German and High German side by side in their daily life. This situation gives rise to various attitudes towards both of these two varieties. Interestingly, some of these attitudes seem to be partly in conflict. The aim of this paper is to show that these attitudes are not necessarily conflicted but rather that such attitudes normally have a multidimensional character. Multidimensional attitudes can be traced back to multidimensional mental models on which people naturally draw. In applying Berthele’s (2010) cluster model, which combines Geeraerts’s (2003) rationalist and romantic models for standardization, the paper illustrates, based on a recent study, which mental models have to be operative to conceptualize the complex frames of the two varieties in use. Additionally, recent shifts in the attitudinal climate in Switzerland indicate that these cognitive cultural models are not static but are subject to dynamic processes.

Published Online: 2018-1-19
Published in Print: 2017-12-20

© 2018 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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