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Language attitudes toward variation

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Scientific framework and objectives

Research has shown that children from ages 3 to 5 show a preference towards the prestigious, standard realizations (Barbu et al. 2013). However, Girard et al. (2008) point out that French children are unable to judge variation according to regional realizations. In addition, Kinzler et DeJesus (2012) show that American children are able to do so but much later, between the ages of 9 and 10. Considering that the ability to judge language variation appears to be situation between the ages of 5 and 11, its developmental path is understudied. This project aims to investigate the ways in which children develop language attitudes towards language variation. Eighty children (French) between 5 and 11 years were asked to evaluate (through a matched guise technique) 7 different variables. Factors such as age, sex, language repertoire and socioeconomic status have been included in the study design.


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