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LINGUIST List 16.1464

Mon May 09 2005

Diss: Socioling/Phonology: Hambye: 'La ...'

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        1.    Philippe Hambye, La prononciation du français contemporain en Belgique. Variation, normes et identités / The pronunciation of contemporary French in Belgium. Variation, norms and identities


Message 1: La prononciation du français contemporain en Belgique. Variation, normes et identités / The pronunciation of contemporary French in Belgium. Variation, norms and identities
Date: 09-May-2005
From: Philippe Hambye <hambyeucl.ac.be>
Subject: La prononciation du français contemporain en Belgique. Variation, normes et identités / The pronunciation of contemporary French in Belgium. Variation, norms and identities


Institution: Université de Louvain
Program: Doctorat en philosophie et lettres
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2005

Author: Philippe Hambye

Dissertation Title: La prononciation du français contemporain en Belgique. Variation, normes et identités / The pronunciation of contemporary French in Belgium. Variation, norms and identities

Dissertation URL: http://edoc.bib.ucl.ac.be:81/ETD-db/collection/browse/by_author/h.html

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
                            Phonology
                            Sociolinguistics

Subject Language(s): French (FRN)

Dissertation Director:
Ludo Beheydt
Michel Francard
Silvia Lucchini

Dissertation Abstract:

This doctoral dissertation is a sociolinguistic study aiming to evaluate
the role of regional identities in the linguistic variation observable at
the geographic level, in French-speaking Belgium. We tried to show that
geographic variation in francophone communities is often viewed as non
relevant because it is explained in a restricted way which considers the
influence of the rural dialects as the sole source of regional
differentiation. This is the reason why we proposed a renewed approach of
geographic variation, based on the idea of the social structuration of
space: this approach states that geographic variation results from the
existence of collectivities associated with particular geographic entities
and setting up specific linguistic norms within the 'linguistic market'
where each collectivity's social practices take place. In fact, regional
variation reflects inter-individual differences regarding the speakers'
identities and attitudes towards their local community; it is not simply
the consequence of the diversity of dialectal substrata.

We conceived this approach of geographic variation within a larger
theoretical framework, in order to understand the relation between the
effects of geographic and socio-economic or socio-cultural factors on
linguistic variation. This implies a redefinition of several linguistic
concepts (ex. regional variety). We illustrated the interest of our
theoretical framework through the analysis of four phonological variables
(final consonants devoicing, vowel lengthening, pronunciation of /r/,
status and behavior of French schwas). These variables were studied on the
basis of recordings from a speaker sample composed of individuals from
different geographic origin, educational background, age and gender.

Globally, our analyses led us to evaluate anew the importance of identity
and linguistic attitudes in the explanation of linguistic variation: we
showed that it was necessary to interpret individuals' linguistic behavior
not only in the light of the speaker's social environment (which determines
his 'vernacular' speech) but also through his orientation towards some
normative models associated with groups defined in geographic or
socio-cultural terms. Moreover, we underlined the influence of speakers'
social trajectories on their orientation towards certain reference groups
and on the correlative adoption of given linguistic norms.

Our research allowed us to actualize the description of the pronunciation
of French in Wallonia and in Brussels on the one hand, and, on the other
hand, to better understand the processes of divergence which lead speakers
to prefer in certain circumstances the adoption of endogenous (regional)
linguistic markers instead of the unconditional respect of standard norms.





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