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Title: Perceptions of Maltese English : an experimental study
Authors: Stilon, Elena Marie
Keywords: Maltese language -- Social aspects
Maltese language -- Variation
Language and languages -- Variation
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Stilon, E. (2018). Perceptions of Maltese English : an experimental study (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: In order to understand what constitutes sociolinguistic variation, comprehension of the information it imparts to listeners is required. Variation conveys social meaning, perception and as a result, social structures (Campbell-Kibler, 2006). This dissertation examines listeners’ perceptions of MaltE, what these constitute and the variables influencing them, such as; listener background and linguistic features of MaltE among others. Modern social psychology considers perceptions to be the foundation of social constructions (Edwards, 1999). These views on different language varieties create language scenarios which influence our perceptions of the speakers and social communities. The perceptions of teachers of English towards MaltE are examined in this research using the verbal-guise test so as to understand some of the attitudes which emerge. The issue of language attitudes is also related to another concept; that of standard and non-standard accents which is also examined in this dissertation. “Accents are classified by the degree to which they are considered standard or non-standard within a particular community” (Cargile A. C., 1997, p. 435). Language ideologies have been discussed by many researchers and social perceptions of Standard English in the U.S and U.K are well documented. Indeed lately a move towards a more American accent has been noted: …an older person may strive for a flawless RP accent, but a younger person is influenced by American…Where once upon a time there might have been a British colonial veneer, there will be an American veneer. This will happen to native and foreign users of English. And demographically in the future it will be a veneer over millions and millions of people. (Graddol, McArtur, Flack, & Amey, 1999, p. 8) This study looks at the perceptions of listeners in light of the standard language ideology with regard to MaltE. Results showed that the presence of the post-vocalic /r/ and lack thereof, representing the non-standard variation and standard variation respectively resulted in different perceptions depending on the personality trait in the verbal-guise test. Thus, a shift towards a lesser-RP sounding accent was observed. While the more RP sounding accent received positive perceptions, this depended on the personality trait in the question and on the educational level of the listeners.
Description: M.A.ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2018
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2018

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