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Title: Moravians in Prague : a sociolinguistic study of dialect accommodation in the Czech Republic
Author: Wilson, James
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2008
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The thesis reports on the linguistic accommodation of 39 university students from Moravia (the eastern half of the Czech Republic) living in Prague, Bohemia (the western part of the Czech Republic). In Bohemia, the informants' highly-localized native dialects and Standard Czech (SC) - a semi-artificial, archaic and primarily nonspoken standard with no native speakers - are both stigmatized, although for different reasons. Consequently, it has been 'hypothesized' that speakers of Moravian dialects living in Bohemia quickly reduce the frequency of or avoid stigmatized variants of their localized vernaculars and converge towards the host dialect, Common Czech (CC). Although a non-standard variety, CC is a semi-prestigious koine that is socially unrestricted throughout Bohemia and parts of western Moravia and is, according to some linguists, assuming the role of a national vernacular. However, the 'contact hypothesis' is based solely on introspective data and is ideologically driven, insomuch as it is the product of linguists who promote the social and geographical spread of CC. The present study is the first attempt to systematically describe the results of dialect contact between speakers of CC and Moravian dialects and to test the above hypothesis. To my knowledge, it is the first systematic variationist account of language variation in the Czech Republic. The study combines a quantitative analysis of six linguistic variables with both qualitative and ethnographic research and it identifies to what extent speakers of Moravian dialects living in Prague assimilate CC forms, what route their accommodation takes, and which variants of the host variety are most likely to acquired or rejected. A primary aim of the study is to describe the impact of a set of independent social variables on speakers' assimilation of CC forms. Special attention is accorded to speakers' sex, region of origin, length of residence in the host community and network integration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available