Stadsdialect en Streekdialect
Hoe Denken de Sprekers Over Elkaar?
In this paper an outline is given of an investigation of language attitudes. In a matched guise experiment rural (Westfrisian) and urban (Amsterdam) subjects were confronted with rural and urban accented speech and had to give judgments on the factors 'competence/ambitiousness', 'personal integrity', 'social attractiveness' and 'toughness'. The purpose of the study was 1. to collect data comparable with similar research in other countries; 2. to explore the feasibility of a unifying approach to the two types of language differentiation: regional and social. In the tentative conclusions below, reference is made to the following treatments:
(i) rural subjects give judgments of urban speakers; (ii) urban subjects give judgments of rural speakers; (iii) urban subjects give judgments of urban speakers; (iv) rural subjects give judgments of rural speakers.
It appears that accented speakers are always stigmatized as less competent, but urban speakers more so than rural ones. For urban judges, personal integrity is associated with standard speech. For rural judges, this is not the case. Social attractiveness is associated with accented speech, but this effect is mitigated under treatment (iv) - in this case the origin of the speaker is more important than his speech variety. Toughness is associated with accented speech, but under treatment (ii) the effect is not great: rural speakers are considered less tough by urban judges, even when they use substandard language. Note that rural people do not consider themselves to be less tough (treatment iv).
Language is an important means whereby groups of people differentiate themselves from other groups. The importance of this instrument will increase when other differentiators are not readily available, due, i.a., to the complexity and diffuseness of the social environment. The opposition between regional and social language differentiation is not a useful one. Both urban and regional dialects are social dialects. Both kinds of varieties carry the same value for their speakers: 'I belong to this group'. Both are determined by the same factors; the difference lies in the different weights of each factor: the ways in which the groups are formed.
Article language: Dutch