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Volume 37, Issue 6


Vernacularisation of media: stylistic change in Basque youth media

Agurtzane Elordui
  • Corresponding author
  • NOR Research Group, Basque Language and Communication, University of the Basque Country, Leioako Campusa z/g, Leioa, Bizkaia, Spain
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Published Online: 2018-09-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2017-0051


Vernaculars are increasingly used in media. They are considered to be stylistic resources to attract audiences and to construct media identities. That increase seems to be particularly significant in the case of youth media, which is also the case of Gaztea, a youth webradio station within the Basque public EITB group that we analyse in this work. Gaztea was created in the 90’s and, at that time, its whole production was in Standard Basque. In fact, promoting the newly created Standard Basque was considered to be Gaztea’s principal public service remit. Nowadays, however, the hegemony of that standard in Gaztea has been challenged by a more heteroglossic model in which vernacular speech is strategically used to empathize with the young Basque audience and to construct media identities. At the same time, though, the dominance of Standard Basque persists in Gaztea’s general stylistic design and practice: Vernaculars are excluded from writing, as well as from informative genres and serious and leading voices. Those are some of the conclusions of the research we have carried out on the distribution of vernaculars and Standard Basque across modes, genres and voices in Gaztea, and also from the information we have drawn from interviews with the managers of the media in question. Results from both data sources are important to understand the current ideological views Gaztea shares with young Basque people, as well as how Gaztea positions itself as a stylizer in the language ideological world of Basque youth.

Keywords: vernaculars; standards; basque; identity; stylization; performance


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-09-04

Published in Print: 2018-10-25

Citation Information: Multilingua, Volume 37, Issue 6, Pages 561–586, ISSN (Online) 1613-3684, ISSN (Print) 0167-8507, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2017-0051.

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