Intralanguage and interlanguage variation and attitudes in Slovene cities
2022-04-14, 12:00–12:30 (Europe/Vienna), Room 5

In the paper, the author compares daily/weekly commuters’ intralanguage variation with the language practice of immigrants, especially members of the nations of the former Yugoslavia, in Slovene cities, and focuses on language attitudes regarding different varieties of Slovene and immigrants’ languages.
Intralanguage as well as interlanguage variation show complex language patterns. Interlanguage variability is presented in the case of daily/weekly commuters from the Idrija region to the capital, Ljubljana. The language use of these commuters has been examined through a variationist analysis of five phonological variables and the subjects represent different speaker profiles: code-switcher, code-mixer and dialect speaker (Bitenc 2016). The linguistic investigation of three generations of immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina in Ajdovščina has shown that they use both Bosnian and Slovene to different degrees, that code switching is very frequent, and that the level of individual bilingualism is the highest with the second generation (Halilović 2012).
The research data prove that speakers of non-standard varieties of Slovene, as well as the newly emerged standards of the former Serbo-Croatian, can be subject to prejudice and discrimination. However, the answers of Slovene commuters in interviews demonstrate that their dialect can also be a source of amazement and enthusiasm. Their experience with language use is illuminated with findings from the language attitude studies, especially the author’s experiments with the matched-guised technique in high schools, which testify to the stereotypical evaluation of speakers of different varieties (Bitenc 2013a and 2013b). Similarly, pilot research (cf. Balažic Bulc 2009) has confirmed that less recognisable languages, including the newly emerged standards of the former Serbo-Croatian, especially Bosnian and Montenegrin, are relatively negatively assessed.
Regarding intra- and interlanguage variation, the question arises about immigrants’ acquisition and use of Slovene: how do they position themselves as speakers in the Slovene intralanguage variability and which Slovene variety they mostly speak.
The aforementioned studies make an important contribution to Slovene sociolinguistics and can help to shape a more open view on language variability. Besides, they provide a basis and impetus for much needed further empirical investigations of the field that can influence related language planning and language policy issues.


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Bitenc, Maja. 2014a. Stališča gimnazijcev do slovenskih jezikovnih zvrsti: Raziskava s tehniko prikritih dvojic. Annales: Anali za istrske in mediteranske študije: Series historia et sociologia 24/2. 307-318.
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Bitenc, Maja. 2016. Z jezikom na poti med Idrijskim in Ljubljano. Ljubljana: Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete.
Halilović, Amra. 2012. Jezikovni repertoar priseljencev z območja Bosne in Hercegovine. In: Stankovska, Petra et al. (ed.): Individualna in kolektivna dvojezičnost. Ljubljana: Filozofska fakulteta. 229–241.