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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Summary Details

Query:   Diffusion of Innovations
Author:  Sue Hasselbring
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Sociolinguistics

Summary:   Regarding query: http://www.linguistlist.org/issues/16/16-2944.html#2

Thanks to Sascha Michel for replying.

Sascha Michel and Heiko Girnth are studying the diffusion of innovations
within dialects of German but are not basing their work on Rogers or Cooper.

Searches of Ebsco Academic Search also yielded no linguistic studies
applying Rogers or Cooper’s work.

According to Everett Rogers’ fifth edition of his book Diffusion of
Innovations in 2003, over 5000 books and articles has been written
regarding the diffusion of innovations in a wide variety of disciplines.
While diffusion of innovations studies began in the 40s and 50s it was only
in the 60s that researchers began referencing works in other disciplines.
Rogers discusses how the nature of social networks, the perceived
attributes of the innovation and the varying tendencies of individuals
impact the speed and degree of spread of innovations. Rogers also
discusses how individuals or communities move through five steps in
adopting an innovation: knowledge of the innovation, persuasion toward (or
against it), decision to adopt (or reject), implementation of that
decision, and confirmation (or alteration) of that decision.

I have applied the theory to the spread of literacy in a formerly
preliterate community in: “The spread of literacy as diffusion of
innovation” which was presented at the International Linguistics
Association in 2004. And applied it to the spread of written standards in:
“It is for us! The acceptance of written standards” which was presented at
the Fourth Pan-African Reading for All conference in 2005.

Sue Hasselbring
University of South Africa

LL Issue: 16.3104
Date Posted: 28-Oct-2005


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