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« Bilingual communication in Montreal : Some matched-guise studies »

Written by Louis-Patrick St-Pierre :: [Friday, 09 November 2012 13:50] Last updated by Josée Guignard Noel :: [Tuesday, 12 July 2016 11:04]
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Year: 2012 Authors and Collaborators
  • ; Bourhis, Richard Y.
  • Research Themes Anglophones
    Bilingualism
    Francophones
    Quebec
    Journal: , Canadian Issues Pages : , 45-53 Abstract
    Experimental studies have shown that ingroup identification can be related to the positive evaluation of language maintenance and language divergence voiced by ingroup members during conversations with rival outgroup speakers (Bourhis et al., 1975; Genesee & Bourhis, 1988; Tong, Hong, Lee & Chiu, 1999). Actual accent and language divergence was also documented in empirical studies of language behaviour. In Wales, adults learning Welsh in a language laboratory for cultural identity reasons used accent divergence by emphasizing their Welsh accent in English when responding to an outgroup English speaker who had voiced a culturally threatening message using the standard RP British accent (Bourhis & [H. Giles], 1977). The strategy of language divergence was documented experimentally in a study conducted in Belgium with trilingual Flemish undergraduates (Bourhis, Giles, Leyens & Tajfel, 1979). Flemish undergraduates studying English in a language laboratory responded to a series of neutral or threatening questions voiced in French or English by a French Brussels confederate speaker. Flemish students converged to English when giving their answer to a contentneutral question voiced in English by the confederate. In contrast, when the question was content-threatening and voiced in French, Flemish students diverged by switching to Flemish, disagreeing with the disparaging statements about the Flemish language, and using insulting epithets to describe the French confederate. The Welsh and Flemish studies showed that threatening messages to the linguistic identity of group members can trigger dissociative language strategies such as accent, language and content divergence. Language divergence can also occur under less threatening circumstances. Taken together, these empirical studies of language convergence and divergence provide support for basic premises of CAT in multhingual settings.
    The adoption of [Bill] 101 in 1977, which sought to improve the status and use of French relative to English reflected the changing power relationship between Quebec's two solitudes (d'Anglejan, 1984; Bouchard & Bourhis, 2002; Bourhis, 1984a; Caldwell, 1994). With the rise of the Québécois nationalist movement, Bill 101 was designed to foster greater use of French as the language of public communication in business, commerce, education and the public administration ([Corbeil], 2007). In a sociolinguistic survey conducted five years after the adoption of Bill 101, results showed that Montreal Francophone undergraduates stated they were more willing to maintain French in a conversation with an Anglophone interlocutor than they had been before the promulgation of the law (Bourhis, 1983). Such reports were concordant with those of Anglophone undergraduates, who in the same survey declared that Francophones converged less to English with them than had been the case before the adoption of Bill 101. Furthermore, Anglophone undergraduates reported that their own language switching to French with Francophone interlocutors had increased since Bill 101.

    Experimental studies have shown that ingroup identification can be related to the positive evaluation of language maintenance and language divergence voiced by ingroup members during conversations with rival outgroup speakers (Bourhis et al., 1975; Genesee & Bourhis, 1988; Tong, Hong, Lee & Chiu, 1999). Actual accent and language divergence was also documented in empirical studies of language behaviour. In Wales, adults learning Welsh in a language laboratory for cultural identity reasons used accent divergence by emphasizing their Welsh accent in English when responding to an outgroup English speaker who had voiced a culturally threatening message using the standard RP British accent (Bourhis & [H. Giles], 1977). The strategy of language divergence was documented experimentally in a study conducted in Belgium with trilingual Flemish undergraduates (Bourhis, Giles, Leyens & Tajfel, 1979). Flemish undergraduates studying English in a language laboratory responded to a series of neutral or threatening questions voiced in French or English by a French Brussels confederate speaker. Flemish students converged to English when giving their answer to a contentneutral question voiced in English by the confederate. In contrast, when the question was content-threatening and voiced in French, Flemish students diverged by switching to Flemish, disagreeing with the disparaging statements about the Flemish language, and using insulting epithets to describe the French confederate. The Welsh and Flemish studies showed that threatening messages to the linguistic identity of group members can trigger dissociative language strategies such as accent, language and content divergence. Language divergence can also occur under less threatening circumstances. Taken together, these empirical studies of language convergence and divergence provide support for basic premises of CAT in multhingual settings.

    The adoption of [Bill] 101 in 1977, which sought to improve the status and use of French relative to English reflected the changing power relationship between Quebec's two solitudes (d'Anglejan, 1984; Bouchard & Bourhis, 2002; Bourhis, 1984a; Caldwell, 1994). With the rise of the Québécois nationalist movement, Bill 101 was designed to foster greater use of French as the language of public communication in business, commerce, education and the public administration ([Corbeil], 2007). In a sociolinguistic survey conducted five years after the adoption of Bill 101, results showed that Montreal Francophone undergraduates stated they were more willing to maintain French in a conversation with an Anglophone interlocutor than they had been before the promulgation of the law (Bourhis, 1983). Such reports were concordant with those of Anglophone undergraduates, who in the same survey declared that Francophones converged less to English with them than had been the case before the adoption of Bill 101. Furthermore, Anglophone undergraduates reported that their own language switching to French with Francophone interlocutors had increased since Bill 101.