ERIC Number: ED206182
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Dec-29
Reference Count: 0
Language Attitudes in a Creole Continuum.
Rickford, John R.
The standard view of language attitudes in a creole continuum is that the creole is considered bad and the standard language is considered good. This standard view fits with the theory of decreolization by which such continua are thought to have come about. A study was carried out in Guyana in an effort to overcome the perceived limitations of the standard view. A matched guise experiment, along with other means of eliciting language attitudes in a systematic way, was conducted. The respondents were 24 persons whose speech had been sampled extensively and who represented equally the two major social classes in the community: the Estate Class, whose members worked in the fields, and the Non-Estate Class, or white collar workers. The evidence indicated that there are social class differences in language attitudes; in particular, that while the Estate Class respondents agree with the Non-Estate Class respondents in the positive evaluation of English on one dimension, the job scale, they reveal a diametrically opposed endorsement of creole norms on other dimensions. It is suggested that the most accurate picture of language attitudes, linguistic variation, and linguistic change in creole continua is one in which it is recognized that there are ambivalent attractions to creole and English norms present in the various social classes in varying proportions. (Author/AMH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (San Antonio, TX, December 29, 1980).