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LINGUIST List 19.2890

Wed Sep 24 2008

Diss: Applied Ling/Disc Analysis/Socioling: Du Bois: 'Indexicality...'

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        1.    Inke Du Bois, Indexicality, Code Choice and Cultural Identity: A study on Americans in Germany

Message 1: Indexicality, Code Choice and Cultural Identity: A study on Americans in Germany
Date: 11-Sep-2008
From: Inke Du Bois <duboisuni-bremen.de>
Subject: Indexicality, Code Choice and Cultural Identity: A study on Americans in Germany
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Institution: Universit├Ąt Hamburg
Program: Applied Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Inke C. Du Bois

Dissertation Title: Indexicality, Code Choice and Cultural Identity: A study on Americans in Germany

Dissertation URL: http://lhopc4.rrz.uni-hamburg.de:8080/DB=1/SET=1/TTL=1/MAT=/NOMAT=T/CLK?IKT=1004&TRM=Cla%BEen+Du+Bois,Inke

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
                            Discourse Analysis

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Dissertation Director:
Juliane House
Kerstin Fischer

Dissertation Abstract:

The dissertation represents a longitudinal trend study on immigrant
language use and cultural identity of U.S. Americans who immigrated to
Germany between 1963 to 2001 at an adult age.

On the one hand, a microanalytic approach is taken in that in-depth
discourse analyses of case studies are performed. On the other hand,
macroanalytic, variationist and diachronic analyses shed light on the
relationship of linguistic output and socio-demographic factors of the
entire informant group.

Linguistic identity is first approached in-depth through the investigation
of monolingual narratives and bilingual speech. This rather inductive
approach encompassed that bicultural identity can be achieved by using only
L1 English through the exploitation of pronouns, place reference and
directional verbs. The contrastive analysis of bilingual and monolingual
speech showed that code-switching and usage of German place and
institutional names and clearly emphasize and underscore the speakers'
German indexical ground and biculturalism. The analysis of the pronoun 'we'
as a referent for cultural group identity uncovers that the immigrants'
identities are not monolithic and different belongings are indexed within
one interview.

The quantitative analysis of lexical attrition, code-switching and the 'we'
pronoun on the other hand shows clear correlations with socio-demographic
factors such as age at arrival, length of residence, education, and
English-related profession. The dissertation represents a synthesis of
discourse analysis and variationist approaches into the study of immigrant
language and identity.

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