Språktradering i Bolsøy: En variasjonslingvistisk analyse med vektpå familietilhørighet som sosial variabel
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The aim of this Ph.D.-project is to gain insight into the effect of family on intergenerational language variation and language transmission and to evaluate the relevance of family affiliation as a sociolinguistic variable through a quantitative variationist analysis in a rural community in West Norway. The main research questions of the project are: Is there a co-variation between the social variable family affiliation and language variation in Bolsøy? Does the social variable family affiliation give insights to patterns of linguistic variation and to the processes of language change? The empirical material has been collected in the eastern part of Molde municipality in Western Norway. The project includes data from a total of 63 individual informants. The 63 recorded individual speakers include 27 members from six families. Chapter 1 gives an introduction to the research scope, object and methodology of the thesis. Chapter 2 gives an account of the locality of the sociolinguistic survey of this thesis, Bolsøy. Chapter 3 introduces the project’s linguistic variables. This chapter also includes an overview of the phonetic system and pronoun system of Bolsøy dialect as recorded from speakers born around 1900. The linguistic variants in the four variables that are included in the project may be interpreted as representing a diachronic change, in which some variants are associated with traditional speech and older speakers and other variants are associated with modern speech and younger speakers. Chapter 4 gives an overview of the social variables in the analysis: Family affiliation, geographic settlement area, gender and birth year. Chapter 4.5 presents 14 test hypotheses reflecting the relationship between the social and linguistic variables. Chapter 5 provides an overview of the position assigned to the family in various Norwegian and non-Norwegian sociolinguistic models of linguistic transmission and language socialization. Chapter 5 also offers an analysis of methodological traditions in Norwegian sociolinguistics for the use of parental background as a selection criteria and social variable. Chapter 6 discusses some societal conditions for language change, emphasizing the role of family in the process of language transmission. In addition to discussing some major changes in the institution of the family in the 20th century, the chapter also presents a survey of self-reported mother tongue and dialectal identity with 331 correspondents from Bolsøy. The survey indicated a homogenous community with regard to self-assigned geolectal identity. As a comparison to this survey, the chapter also gives an account of a data material on migration in Bolsøy among inhabitants born in the early 1930s. Chapter 7 gives an overview of the project field work and its collection of empirical data. Chapter 8 offers an investigation of the statistical co-variation between the selected linguistic variables and the social variables birth year, gender, area of settlement and family affiliation. Chapter 9 discusses the two research questions and the findings from chapter 8 in light of the previous eight chapters.In chapter 8, the tests of hypotheses 1–9, concerning the social variable birth year, give a significant correlation between birth year and the linguistic variables of this thesis (p < 0.05, rs range between rs = 0.32 and rs= 0.8. There are no significant differences in the linguistic variation with regards to the social variables gender and settlement area (hypotheses 10–12). The statistical analyses for hypotheses 13 and 14, concerning the relation between the linguistic variables and the social variable family affiliation, indicate that family affiliation gives no significant F change, and has no significant effect on the variation in the linguistic material, when included as a factor in a hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis with the three independent variables family affiliation, gender and birth year. When choosing to use significant change of F-value as a criterion for hypothesis rejection, we must conclude that the family relationship cannot be claimed to be a relevant social variable to explain the variation in any of the variables included in the analysis. This gives a basis for a rejection of research question 1, concluding that there is no co-variation between the social variable family affiliation and language variation in Bolsøy. However, we do find some patterns of interest when analyzing the children in the data material according to their parent’s place of birth, as well as some indications of a pattern to be further explored concerning the sociolinguistic pattern of the birth order of siblings. This Ph.D.-project rejects the question of a covariation between the social variable family affiliation and language variation in Bolsøy. However, the lack of co-variation does not enable a rejection of a general rejection of the second research question, that the social variable family affiliation gives insights to patterns of linguistic variation and to the processes of language change. Thus the concluding hypothesis of the thesis is that covariation between family affiliation and language variation patterns occurs under certain conditions. One of these conditions is a continuous interindividual variation pattern across at least two generations in the speech community. This pattern enables an intergenerational transmission of language practice patterns, in which the language practice of the family as a community of practice is both visible and measurable.