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Seminar: "Not constitutionalised… or whatever” Situating language ideologies and language attitudes, Melody Ann Ross, 20 Apr

Australian National University

Date: 16 April 2018

Seminar: "Not constitutionalised… or whatever” Situating language ideologies and language attitudes

Speaker: Melody Ann Ross

When: 20 Apr, 3.30pm-5pm

Where: Engma Room (5019), HC Coombs Building, ANU


This paper proposes a framework that creates a hierarchy of language ideologies, language attitudes, and the micro-adjustments attitudes (in this case, stance acts). In many studies, language attitudes and language ideologies are difficult to separate, a problem Kroskrity (2005) defines as one of scope, because language ideology research and the separation between language attitudes and language ideologies is not well-defined in the literature. 

This study lays out the following conditions: language ideologies are systemic and systematic social beliefs; they are investigated by taking samples of individuals’ attitudes which are then systematized and described; they are the environment in which attitudes reside. Language attitudes are the beliefs and stereotypes that individuals hold toward linguistic varieties; they are informed by (or are reactions against) dominant societal language; they are individual and systematic and can be investigated in interaction, using stance acts as points of analysis. The data for this paper come from interviews conducted in East Timor in 2015 about Timorese attitudes toward Tetun Dili, a local language. Language ideologies discussed in such papers as Taylor-Leech 2005 provide the context within which individual attitudes are reckoned in such papers as Leach 2012 and the present study. The present study uses “Du Bois-ian” (2007) stance analysis to illustrate the micro-adjustments that speakers make during discourse to align their attitudes toward or away from overt (or covert) language ideologies, thereby demonstrating that the relationships between language attitudes and language ideologies can be described and systematized. 

DBOIS, JOHN W. 2007. The stance triangle. In Stancetaking in Discourse: Subjectivity, evaluation, interaction, ed. by Robert Englebretson, 141–182. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 

KROSKRITY, PAUL. 2005. Language Ideologies. In A companion to linguistic anthropology, ed. by Alessandro Duranti 496-517. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. 

LEACH, MICHAEL. 2012. Longitudinal change in East Timorese tertiary student attitudes to national identity and nation building, 2002-2010. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 168(2-3):219–52.

TAYLOR-LEECH, KERRY. 2005. The ecology of language reform in East Timor: a language rights perspective. Studies in the languages and cultures of East Timor 7:13-35.

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