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Title: Language and identity in a transnational context : a sociophonetic study of the Polish of a group of migrants living in the UK
Author: Kozminska, Kinga
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 2713
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines the process of identity formation among a group of 30 young Polish adults who moved to the UK to study and stayed to work. By examining the speakers' self-representations aided by observations from the fieldwork, two distinct sociocultural identities emerge: Polish Poles, who express nationally Polish identities, maintain Polish culture and language as well as orient themselves towards Poland and the Polish diaspora community, and Polish Cosmopolitans, who reject the concept of nationality as a basis for identity, bind their future to the English language and global economy and do not consciously maintain either the culture or the language. Between the two contrasting groups, there is an intermediate group of speakers who still identify themselves as Polish and maintain selected aspects of Polish culture, including the language, but orient themselves more towards Britain and the world. Linguistic analysis demonstrates that those three ways of experiencing the world go together with different ways of speaking: while Polish Poles and "In-betweens" maintain Standard Polish, Polish Cosmopolitans are developing new ways of speaking drawing on selected phonetic English features. In this thesis, two features, aspirated stops and fall-rises used as a floor control mechanism in narratives, are examined. Quantitative methods and conversation analysis are employed to show how phonetic detail is used in the context of the narrative of the self. It is argued that the new speaking styles developed by Polish Cosmopolitans result from negotiation of norms from two distinct linguistic and cultural systems, which allow for the creation of a new sociopragmatic order where the new ways of speaking are perceived as desirable and in order. The use of variation is inflected by gender, which also shows that the ideological frameworks guiding one's linguistic behavior are based on the speaker's sociocultural positioning and rights and obligations.
Supervisor: Temple, Rosalind Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available