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ERIC Number: ED521288
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 361
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-2281-3
Variation in Maltese English: The Interplay of the Local and the Global in an Emerging Postcolonial Variety
Bonnici, Lisa Marie
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Davis
In our current era of increased globalization, constraints on language variation in postcolonial English varieties are multifaceted. Local and global language ideologies collide and multiple sources of influence converge in present-day patterns of linguistic variation in emerging English varieties. While research into the structure and socio-historic backdrop of new English varieties is burgeoning, this work has largely ignored tools of quantitative sociolinguistic analysis. This dissertation explores the outcomes of the re-rooting of English to Malta. It considers the diverse influences on language ideologies and variation in Malta in light of diachronic and synchronic events including Malta's colonial history and the rise of English as a global linguistic commodity. To examine these issues, this dissertation analyzes local language ideologies and variation in post-vocalic (r) and the quotative system using ethnographic data and sociolinguistic interviews conducted in 2008 with bilingual, English-dominant participants from four age groups. Results for post-vocalic (r) demonstrate an apparent-time change in progress, with a move from extremely r-ful behavior to r-lessness and back to increased rhoticity. This is understood in light of dramatic shifts in access to r-ful varieties and local stigmatization of features ideologically linked to being "English-speaking," i.e., salient features of Received Pronunciation. An analysis of the quotative system reveals the presence of be "like" in speakers under 35 and a local quotative, "tell". Results demonstrate the same constraints at work in standard language varieties to be operating on "be like" in Malta. As "be like" entered Maltese English, the constraints on the existing quotative system remained intact while overall rates of "say" have decreased. This dissertation brings together theories of world Englishes and ethnographic, variationist approaches. While this approach has a longstanding tradition in sociolinguistics and has been hallmarked as necessary for exploring the processes and outcomes of globalization in sociolinguistics (Blommaert, 2003), it is still sparse in world Englishes research, and the rich internal variability in emerging English varieties is unexplored. This dissertation also expands on research into variation in bilingual communities and assesses claims concerning the "glocalization" of incoming global variants, which have been examined largely among monolingual speakers in standard language cultures. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Malta