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Title: Bilingualism and code-switching in Malta : the North-South divide : a sociolinguistic study
Authors: Fenech, Chiara Maria
Keywords: Bilingualism
Diglossia (Linguistics)
Code switching (Linguistics)
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Language learning is not an individualistic activity but rather an ongoing process which is influenced by one’s background and social factors. On account of Malta’s turbulent political past and having been a colony up until 1964, the Maltese are privileged in having a rich linguistic legacy. In view of Malta’s official bilingual status in Maltese and English the Maltese tend to display distinct linguistic attitudes towards the two main languages spoken in their community. This quantitative study focuses on the phenomenon of the North-South divide and seeks to analyse whether such geographical distinction also manifests itself in linguistic attitudes. This study’s findings reveal that though attitudes towards Maltese and English vary depending on one’s locality, Maltese continues to be the language predominantly heard throughout Malta. Generally, people hailing from certain parts of the island particularly the southern harbour region are looked down upon in terms of English language competency. Residents in other areas especially Sliema and the nearby localities are perceived as using English more frequently. Contrary to what might have been expected, this survey’s findings reveal that Maltese is the language respondents feel most comfortable using when interacting with others regardless of locality, age and gender. Interestingly, only 21 out of the 120 respondents preferred to be interviewed in English. This reveals how Maltese continues to dominate notwithstanding Malta’s official bilingual status.
Description: B.A.(HONS)ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2014

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