The researchers from the project 'New speakers of West Frisian:Promoting language learning and use to foster revitalisation' have published a new article on their findings. Ruth Kircher (Mercator/ Fryske Akademy, now European Centre for Minority Issues), Ethan Kutlu (University of Iowa) and Mirjam Vellinga (Afûk) wrote the article 'Evaluative reactions to minority languages and their varieties: Evidence from new speakers of West Frisian', which is now published as an open access article in the international journal of sociolinguistics Language in Society (Cambridge University Press).
Little is known about the connection between individuals’ evaluative reactions to (i) minority languages as such, and (ii) specific varieties of these minority languages. This study investigates such evaluative reactions amongst new speakers of Frisian in the Netherlands (n = 264). A questionnaire was used to elicit participants’ attitudes towards the Frisian language and their evaluations of the specific variety of Frisian they were taught. The results reveal a significant correlation between participants’ status-related attitudes towards Frisian and their anonymity-related evaluations of the variety they were taught—as well as between participants’ solidarity-related attitudes towards Frisian and their authenticity-related evaluations of the variety they were taught. The former are close to neutral; the latter are mildly positive. The article discusses how these results not only advance our general understanding of language in society, but also facilitate the development of more comprehensive science communication to inform revitalisation strategies in minority contexts.
Kircher, R., Kutlu, E., & Vellinga, M. (2023). Evaluative reactions to minority languages and their varieties: Evidence from new speakers of West Frisian. Language in Society, 1-27. doi:10.1017/S0047404523000805
Project New speakers of West Frisian
You can read more about the project and its results on this webpage.