Title (eng)

Dialect use as interaction strategy: A sociolinguistic study of contextualization, speech perception, and language attitudes in Austria


Barbara Soukup




Book blurb:
In the course of conversations held in a standard language, shifting into non-standard dialect can turn out to be a very powerful rhetorical tool.
For the first time, this book brings the methodology of American interactional sociolinguistic discourse analysis, language attitude study, and variationist sociolinguistics to data drawn from Austrian TV discussions, in order to investigate and illuminate the mechanisms behind such decidedly strategic dialect use.
Disparaging an opponent, talking in irony, expressing contempt for an opposing position - all these are conversational moves for which discussion participants are found to harness Austrian dialect. That dialect use thus predominantly occurs in negative interactional contexts is only one of the intriguing results presented here. To go beyond this mere fact and trace its underlying processes, the study investigates the nature of social stereotypes associated with Austrian dialect as well as their perceptual links with non-standard features, applying a combination of methodologies that sets a precedent for future investigations of strategic language use within the growing field of sociolinguistics.

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Austria, language attitudes, speech perception, contextualization, interactional sociolinguistics, variation, language choice