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Auteur: Christoph PURSCHKE

The cultural grounding of language attitudes

Abstract/Résumé: Language attitudes research often is criticized for its lack of a comprehensive theoretical framework defining the structure, functions, and dynamic of attitudinal systems (cf. CASPER 2002). And although there has been some theoretical and methodological effort in modeling the constitutive factors of these complex cognitive patterns, a lot of problems still remain unsolved: From a theoretical viewpoint both the structure (3 components vs. 1 component) and functions (4 vs. 2 basic functions) of attitudes are yet widely discussed (cf. FISHBEIN/AJZEN 1975; EAGLY/CHAIKEN 1993; KATZ 1960; BAKER 1992). Regarding methodological aspects there seems to be a huge discrepancy between the extensive criticism on the established measuring techniques and the wide-spread use of the same techniques. Starting from this unsatisfactory situation, and following MARKARD 1984 in his attempt, the paper will try to shape the structure and functions of language attitudes from a constructivist viewpoint (cf. BLUMER 1981). Based on an inclusive definition of attitude (cf. EAGLY/CHAIKEN 1993) it addresses the role of situational factors as well as cultural and motivational aspects. In this regard attitudes can be seen as complex judgment processes emerging directly from action – with action being the defining root of human culture. In doing so the paper tries to bring together ideas from cultural philosophy (cf. CASSIRER 1923-29) with a socio-psychological “Listener Judgment Theory” developed by the author (cf. PURSCHKE 2011). Plus, a brief sketch of methodological consequences for the research of language attitudes shall be given using the example of a recent study on German regional languages. BAKER, COLIN (1992): Attitudes and Language. Multilingual Matters 83. Clevedon. BLUMER, HERBERT (1981): Der methodologische Standort des symbolischen Interaktionismus. In: Arbeitsgruppe Bielefelder Soziologen (Hrsg.): Alltagswissen, Interaktion und gesellschaftliche Wirklichkeit. Bd. 1. Reinbek, 80–146. CASPER, KLAUDIA (2002): Spracheinstellungen. Theorie und Messung. Heidelberg CASSIRER, ERNST (1923–1929): Philosophie der symbolischen Formen. 3 Bde. Hamburg. EAGLY, ALICE/CHAIKEN, SHELLY (1993): The Psychology of Attitudes. Fort Worth (Tex.). FISHBEIN, MARTIN/AJZEN, ICEK (1975): Belief, Attitude, Intention, and Behavior: an introduction to theory and research. Reading (Mass.). KATZ, JERROLD (1960): The functional approach to the study of attitudes. In: Public Opinion Quarterly 24, 163–204. MARKARD, MORUS (1984): Einstellung – Kritik eines sozialpsychologischen Grundkonzepts. Frankfurt/New York. PURSCHKE, CHRISTOPH (2011): Regionalsprache und Hörerurteil. Grundzüge einer perzeptiven Variationslinguistik. Stuttgart.