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Different Ways to Hate a Language in Catalonia: Interpreting Low Solidarity Scores in Language Attitude Studies
Michael Newman
40-49 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Focus group interviews were used to explore qualitatively some quantitative findings on language attitudes from matched-guise tests performed in urban Catalonia (Newman, Trenchs-Parera, and Ng 2007). The particular focus in this paper involves negative feelings towards Catalan by two groups: a minority of autochthonous Spanish speakers and a larger number of Latin American immigrants as revealed by low scores on the "Solidarity factor" on the tests. Findings show that the locals' rejection is an expression of a language ideology called "Linguistic Parochialism" (Trenchs-Parera and Newman 2009). By contrast, the immigrants' rejection is more superficial based on personal experiences with the language as an obstacle to school success. Their opinions improve with increasing competence and with supportive school experiences. These results question any mechanistic association of low "Solidarity" scores to an in-group/out-group dynamic. They also suggest the importance of school policy regarding immigrants' adaptation to positive feelings about the Catalan language.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics
edited by Jim Michnowicz and Robin Dodsworth
Table of contents
Printed edition: $190.00