Migration processes along with globalization and the possibility of traveling and moving easily across the world generated new spaces of linguistic perception, which have been modifying speakers’ ways of interpreting the varieties of language. In 1980s, research showed that standard Italian, regional varieties, and dialects were distributed hierarchically in terms of linguistic attitudes and prejudice (Baroni 1983; Galli de’ Paratesi 1984; Volkart Rey 1990); in 2007 a research carried out in Italy (Di Ferrante 2007) using the Matched Guise Technique (MGT) (Lambert et alii 1960) revealed that there is a difference in the intensity of prejudice toward different varieties of Italian: both regional and foreign. These same results emerged from a survey carried out in Switzerland as a replication of the Italian research (Catricalà and Di Ferrante 2011). Drawing on Kurt Lewin’s Psychological Field Theory (1951), our hypothesis is that when processing linguistic environment, individuals refer to perceptual schemes that can be more or less finely tuned based on the linguistic varieties they master or are acquainted with. The differences in the configuration of the perceptual space are a relevant variable in a series socio-linguistic functions. As a test of the hypothesis, we have compared the results of the two studies carried out in Italy and in Switzerland about the perception of varieties of Italian. Both the studies used MGT on more than 400 subjects. Our hypothesis of the Linguistic Field proved to be able to account for the variation in linguistic prejudice and attitudes.

Language Perception of Foreign and Local Accents: The Linguistic Field Theory

Sergio Pizziconi;
2019-01-01

Abstract

Migration processes along with globalization and the possibility of traveling and moving easily across the world generated new spaces of linguistic perception, which have been modifying speakers’ ways of interpreting the varieties of language. In 1980s, research showed that standard Italian, regional varieties, and dialects were distributed hierarchically in terms of linguistic attitudes and prejudice (Baroni 1983; Galli de’ Paratesi 1984; Volkart Rey 1990); in 2007 a research carried out in Italy (Di Ferrante 2007) using the Matched Guise Technique (MGT) (Lambert et alii 1960) revealed that there is a difference in the intensity of prejudice toward different varieties of Italian: both regional and foreign. These same results emerged from a survey carried out in Switzerland as a replication of the Italian research (Catricalà and Di Ferrante 2011). Drawing on Kurt Lewin’s Psychological Field Theory (1951), our hypothesis is that when processing linguistic environment, individuals refer to perceptual schemes that can be more or less finely tuned based on the linguistic varieties they master or are acquainted with. The differences in the configuration of the perceptual space are a relevant variable in a series socio-linguistic functions. As a test of the hypothesis, we have compared the results of the two studies carried out in Italy and in Switzerland about the perception of varieties of Italian. Both the studies used MGT on more than 400 subjects. Our hypothesis of the Linguistic Field proved to be able to account for the variation in linguistic prejudice and attitudes.
978-83-953142-1-6
Linguistic field, linguistic attitude, Matched Guise Technique, Local accents
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/341084
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