Language attitudes and bilingualism in Turkish-German popular film
Kempsell Jacinto, Wendy Christine
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The purpose of this dissertation is to examine attitudes towards Turkish-German language mixing. Lambert (1967), Lippi-Green (1997) and Preston (2010) have shown that stereotypes about groups of people can be expressed through attitudes about speakers’ use of language. This study investigates attitudes regarding the use of Turkish-German code-mixing through a survey including clips from two popular films by the director Fatih Akin. The dissertation presents the results of two studies conducted on the responses to an online survey. The survey was given to native German-, Turkish-, and/or English-speakers. The survey was made up of two parts: 1) demographic and language background questions, and 2) a series of short video clips followed by Likert-scale questions about the characters and open-ended questions about the clips. The first study involved a qualitative analysis of responses to the survey. This consisted of a content analysis of the answers to open-ended questions in the survey, divided according to respondent group, with a concentration on evaluative comments regarding language use. The purpose of the analysis was to determine which types of evaluative comments are made about Turkish-German mixing and how the types of comments differ between groups of participants. Results indicate that, while monolingual Germans and Turks did submit negative evaluations of mixing, the overwhelming majority of negative comments about Turkish-German mixing came from native bilinguals. The second study consisted of a quantitative analysis of Likert-style questions about the film characters on a range of attributes. The results show that German-speakers, Turkish-speakers, and Turkish-German bilinguals all display a negative correlation between their perceptions of a character’s “Turkishness” and perceived level of education, which is not evident in the responses of participants who are unfamiliar with German and Turkish. These results are explored in relationship to the language background as well as the age group of the participants. In addition, two smaller studies were conducted on the dialogue in the film clips that serve as stimuli for the survey. First, a linguistic analysis was conducted on the speech of Turkish-Germans in the clips that were presented as stimuli in the online survey. The analysis compared their speech to the descriptions of Turkish-German speech in previous literature. Second, a conversation-analytic discourse analysis was performed on the dialogue of the film clips used in the survey. The purpose of both of these studies was to better understand what it is that respondents to the survey might react to in forming opinions of the characters.
- Linguistics