Maintenance and Shift of Catalan and Spanish: Two Sets of Data from Barcelona

Margaret Jean Simmons (2010). Maintenance and Shift of Catalan and Spanish: Two Sets of Data from Barcelona PhD Thesis, School of Languages & Comparative Cultural Studies, The University of Queensland.

Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your UQ eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
s38011988_PhD_Finalthesis_abstract.pdf s38011988_PhD_Finalthesis_abstract application/pdf 14.55KB 4
s38011988_PhD_Finalthesis_submission.doc s38011988_PhD_Finalthesis_submission application/msword 102KB 2
s38011988_PhD_Finalthesissimmons.pdf Final Thesis application/pdf 5.13MB 14
Author Margaret Jean Simmons
Thesis Title Maintenance and Shift of Catalan and Spanish: Two Sets of Data from Barcelona
School, Centre or Institute School of Languages & Comparative Cultural Studies
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-02
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr. Daniel Martín
Dr. Mikihiko Miura
Dr. Alfredo Martínez Expósito
Total pages 567 pdf pages
Total colour pages 12 color pages
Total black and white pages 555
Abstract/Summary Maintenance and Shift of Catalan and Spanish: Two Sets of Data from Barcelona The primary aim of this thesis is to compare two sets of data collected in Barcelona in 1991 and during the period 2000-2004 which consist of participants’ reported self-evaluations of abilities and uses of Catalan and Spanish. Issues concerning ability and amount of use of each language in oral and written forms, reported language choices in various situations, retrospection about past ability and use, as well as the concepts of first language, principal language of daily life, one’s “own” language and national identity are analysed. The study aims to 1) investigate participants’ perceptions of their language abilities in Catalan and Spanish, 2) the approximate amounts of each language used as well as 3) perceived changes in ability and use in terms of participants’ retrospection and across the two samples, and 4) explore participants’ identification with the two languages. A detailed analysis among these factors is carried out considering the involvement of both Catalan and Spanish. Data was collected through questionnaire distribution and personal interviews. Participants are 20 years or older, residents in Barcelona city or nearby area and stated their first language as Catalan, Spanish or both Catalan + Spanish. Results show that most of these participants perceived that their abilities in both languages have increased and that they use more Catalan now than in the past; however, changes are not dramatic, and some persons reported decreases in ability in the languages and decreases in the amount of Catalan used. The factor of age is not as influential as expected considering the reinstatement of Catalan in the school system. The differences in abilities and amounts of Catalan used by men and women in the 2000-4 sample did not show great differences while in 1991 there had been significant differences between men and women; across the two samples, the differences between the amount of Catalan used by men in the 1991 sample and the higher reported amounts used by men in the 2000-4 sample are significant. Situations for preferring to use Catalan rather than Spanish in 2000-4 included the category that “the interlocutor knows or understands Catalan” whereas this was not given as a situation for preferring to use Catalan in 1991. There is a significant negative correlation between reported Spanish ability and the reported amount of Catalan used in both the L1 Catalan and L1 Spanish group in 2000-4. A number of participants reported that the principal language of their daily life in the 2000-4 era was not their first language. While only a small portion of the sample made such reports, the majority of these tended to be changes toward Catalan from Spanish. Statement of Catalan identity is associated with higher ability and more use of Catalan. However, some L1 Spanish participants stated Catalan identity without stating Catalan as their principal language or as the language they considered their “own.” Perceptions of pressure to use each of the languages were also associated with perceived ability to speak the language. In interpreting the results, several theoretical viewpoints are used such as linguistic markets, dominant and dominated languages, reverse diglossia, and ethnolinguistic vitality. The concept of cultural core values is applied as a perspective for analysing Catalan cultural values and their interlinks throughout history, and this also provides a context for the idea of self-constructed Catalan identity. The background research on the Catalan situation includes studies which illustrate these theoretical views as well as others, including large scale census and survey data from the same eras as the present data. Several details of this study have not had a notable presence in the literature. The inclusion of Spanish abilities and estimated amounts of oral and written language used allowed the present study to identify significant correlations between reported Spanish speaking ability and reported amount of spoken Catalan used. Estimated amounts of use of speaking, reading and writing also allowed identification of gender differences regarding amount of Catalan used within samples, within first language groups and also across the two time periods. These items also allowed for a detailed cross analysis of other variables in terms of both languages. Application of cultural core values other than language to the Catalan situation is an expansion on the literature.
Keyword Catalan
language maintenance
language shift
language ability
language use
language normalization
language as a cultural value
Additional Notes Color pages (pdf number) 28, 117, 121, 126, 166, 167, 223, 261, 262, 339, 383, 493 Landscape pages (pdf number) 339, 559, 563, 567

Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 09 Feb 2011, 11:51:37 EST by Ms Margaret Simmons on behalf of Library - Information Access Service