Article published in:Variation in (Sub)standard language
Edited by Rob Belemans and Reinhild Vandekerckhove
[Belgian Journal of Linguistics 13] 1999
► pp. 205–220
Sociolinguistic Representations of the French Spoken in Rouen
Abstract. This article describes the methodology used to collect data on sociolinguistic representations in an urban situation - and, specifically, in Rouen (France) - by relying on a detailed study of the relationships between epilinguistic discourse and social space. In the discussion, emphasis is put not only on the initial assumptions of the research, on the problems which arose during the inquiry and the answers one can offer to those problems, but also on the methodological quandaries of any such work. Collecting the data involved two phases, the first qualitative and the second quantitative. A pre-inquiry which took the form of semi-directive interviews was carried out in order to select those items that the local speakers consider as sociolinguistically qualifying. Next, a written questionnaire was submitted to a second identical sample of local speakers who had to evaluate the items selected by the first group of speakers. The procedure was the same for both assessment recordings: the subjects heard pre-recorded representative verbal samples uttered by representative local speakers. In conclusion, it appears that a methodology combining the social evaluation of verbal samples and the measurement of attitudes could be appropriate in accounting for the complex encounters between several representations of urban space.
Published online: 01 January 2000