Sociolinguistic factors affecting patterns of emotional language use among multilingual speakers in the Western Cape

Little, Tanya (2014-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to identify factors that affect the language choices and patterns of language use of multilingual speakers in the Western Cape, focusing particularly on emotional language. It is an exploratory study, taking a purely quantitative methodological approach. Data was collected by means of a web-based Multilingualism and Emotions Questionnaire available online for six months. The questionnaire was based on Dewaele and Pavlenko‟s Bilingualism and Emotions Questionnaire (see Pavlenko, 2005) and included multiple choice and Likert scale questions regarding participants‟ language use preferences, as well as their perceptions of each of their languages. Data analysis was split into two stages: firstly the response data was illustrated by means of frequency tables, and secondly the statistical method of Correspondence Analysis was used to show the patterns of variation among the factors investigated. Two hypotheses were proposed, based on previous research: firstly, that the sociolinguistic factors would play a bigger role than the socio-demographic factors in determining language choices and patterns of use, and secondly that there may be differences in patterns of use for speakers of African languages versus speakers of Western languages. The analysis confirmed both hypotheses, while also showing some deviation from the results of previous research, which is attributed to the context in which this study was conducted. The main findings of this study were that English was generally the preferred language even when not the L1, and also that Xhosa tended to follow an entirely different pattern of use in comparison with most other languages in the sample. These findings are attributed to the unique language contact situation in the Western Cape, showing that the widely accepted L1-primacy ideology does not quite hold true across all contexts. An English-bias in the implementation of the language and education policy is also identified as a possible contributing factor to the patterns of language use and language attitudes revealed in this study, hence it is suggested that methodological and practical changes to the language and education policy could lead to a realization of the true multilingual and multicultural potential of South Africa.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie handel oor die identifisering van faktore wat die taalgebruikspatrone en keuses van veeltaliges in die Wes-Kaap affekteer. Die fokus is hoofsaaklik op emosionele taalgebruik. Die studie is verkennend, en volg „n suiwer kwantitatiewe benadering. Data is ingesamel deur die gebruik van „n web-gebaseerde Veeltaligheid en Emosies Vraelys wat ongeveer ses maande op die internet beskikbaar was. Die vraelys is gebaseer op dié van Dewaele en Pavlenko (verwys na Pavlenko, 2005) en sluit in veelvoudigekeuse- en Likertskaal-vrae oor die deelnemers se taalgebruik keuses asook hul taal-persepsies. Data-analise is in twee verskillende fases voltooi: eerstens is die data deur die gebruik van frekwensie tabelle geïllustreer, en tweedens is die patrone van variasie onder die faktore getoon deur die gebruik van die statistiese metode van Korrespondensie Ontleding. Twee hipoteses is voorgestel, gebaseer op vorige navorsing; eerstens, dat sosiolinguistiese faktore „n groter rol as sosio-demografiese faktore sou speel in die bepaling van taal-keuses en gebruikpatrone; en tweedens dat daar dalk verskille sou wees tussen Afrika-taal sprekers en Westerse-taal sprekers in verband met patrone van taalgebruik. Beide van die hipoteses is deur die analise bevestig, terwyl daar ook afwyking was van die bevindings van vorige navorsing, waarvoor die konteks waarin hierdie studie plaasvind as rede voorgestel is. Die studie se hoofbevindings dui daarop dat Engels oor die algemeen die voorgekeurde taal is, selfs wanneer dit nie die eerstetaal is nie, en ook dat Xhosa „n gebruikspatroon volg wat van die ander tale in die studie verskil. Hierdie bevindings word toegeskryf aan die uniekheid van die taal-kontak situasie in die Wes-Kaap, en dui daarop dat die algemeen aanvaarde ideologie van die eerste-taal-voorrang nie noodwendig van toepassing is op alle kontekste nie. „n Vooroordeel ten gunste van Engels in die implementering van die taal- en onderwysbeleid word ook uitgewys as „n moontlike bydraende faktor tot die patrone van taalgebruik en taalhoudings wat in hierdie studie ontdek is. Daar word gevolglik voorgestel dat metodologiese- en praktiese- veranderinge aan die taal- en onderwysbeleid groot bydrae sal kan lewer tot die vervulling van Suid-Afrika se volle veeltalige en multikulturele potensiaal.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96141
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