The influence of socio-economic status, age, gender, and level of literacy on language attitudes
The case of Haitian Gonâviens
This study investigated the relationship between socio-economic status, age, gender, and literacy level and Haitian Gonâviens‘ attitudes towards Haitian Creole or Kreyòl and French. Most studies that investigated language attitudes of Creolophones have found that they have negative attitudes towards Kreyòl. Nevertheless, previous studies often included participants who are affiliated with education such as students, teachers, and language policy makers, or those from higher social classes. The current study, however, utilized a language attitudes questionnaire to collect data from 78 adult informants from diverse backgrounds. These participants included 21 highly literate, 51 partially literate and 6 illiterate Haitians. Findings revealed that participants of higher socio-economic status have more positive attitudes towards French than those from lower socio-economic status. Results also showed that there is a tendency for age, gender, and literacy level to affect language attitudes. For instance, positive attitudes towards Kreyòl were found to be more prevalent among older participants than younger respondents. Similarly, male participants had more negative attitudes towards French than female informants. Moreover, respondents of lower literacy levels had more negative attitudes towards French than those who were highly literate.
Keywords: language attitudes, Haitian Creole, Kreyòl, French, socio-economic status, SES, age, gender
Published online: 14 January 2022
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