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ERIC Number: ED550400
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 211
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-9849-7
The Role of Personal Choice in Individual Language Shift
Morse, Kira Gulko
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M University, Kingsville
The existing literature views the phenomenon of language shift mostly on the societal, or macro, level, which takes the focus away from individual cases. This investigation provides an alternative perspective to the currently prevalent view. The purpose of this phenomenological study is to develop an understanding of the role of personal choice in individual language shift among adults and fill the gap in the existing research literature on language shift. By interviewing selected adult participants and analyzing a published autobiographical narrative, the study focuses on the following central question: What is the role of personal choice in individual language shift? The study also addressed two subquestions: What individual experiences have affected/influenced individual language shift? What individual experiences emphasize the conscious choice to make the shift? The study follows the Qualitative Constructivist/Interpretevist Format (Creswell, 2007) of phenomenological research. Six key themes emerge from the data and comprise my new understanding of the phenomenon of personal choice in individual language shift. The first theme denotes my primary finding: (1) Language Choice vs. Life Choice. Individual language shift still remains a separate phenomenon with a deep axiological dimension. However, my data analysis suggests that regarding individual language shift under a broader umbrella of life choice offers a richer view of the phenomenon by presenting it not as an isolated human system, but rather as a system tied to other dimensions of the human experience and axiology. Secondary themes further contribute to the phenomenon: (2) Language Roles; (3) Consequence of Personal Choice vs. Current Personal Need; (4) Second Language vs. Primary Language; (5) Internal Identification with Language; and (6) Alternative to Language Shift. This final theme proposes the idea of language addition as an alternative to language shift and, thus, substitutes the arbitrariness of language shift. The final section of the research discusses its professional and social implications, followed by recommendations for future research. These recommendations include the study of individual theories of language, as well as further individual language shift research focusing on a particular geographical location or language environment, reasons for language shift, role of self-identification in individual language shift, and others. [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