Folk-Linguistic Attitudes in Eastern Massachusetts


Folk linguistics attempts to study people’s beliefs and attitudes about language through their metalinguistic statements, usually collected in a naturalistic setting. Data was collected in a semistructured focus group setting with 11 white, middle- and working-class participants from Eastern Massachusetts. Participants spoke freely about linguistic topics. The results showed that the group focused their discussion on the speech of politicians (former Boston Mayor Tom Menino to be exact), linguistic status markers, specific features (r- and g-dropping, broad /a/), regions (local Massachusetts regions and Tennessee), and ethnicity (Black and Hispanic). All topics were introduced by the participants, rather than by the researcher.

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Babcock, R. (2014) Folk-Linguistic Attitudes in Eastern Massachusetts. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 4, 415-428. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2014.43035.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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