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Attitudes towards the minority variety Caló in the south of Spain: a sociolinguistic study
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Spanish.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Caló is a variety spoken by the Spanish Calé (i.e. the Roma). It belongs to a group of languages referred to as “Para-Romani”, characterized by Romani vocabulary, but largely non-Romani morphology, phonology and syntax, in the case of Caló deriving from Spanish. According to previous research carried out – with focus on the vocabulary and the grammar of this variety – Caló is on its way to extinction. However, there is an expressed interest in reintroducing a form called “Romanó-Caló”.

Attitudes play an important role in minority language maintenance as well as in order for a revitalization project to be successful. The aim of this study is to measure the attitudes that both Calé and non-Calé have towards Caló and Caló speakers, a type of study never carried out in the past. The methods applied are both direct and indirect. In total, 231 informants listened to different recordings of voices acting as either a “Spanish speaking person” or a “Caló speaking person”, a technique referred to as ‘matched guise’, answering questions related to the voices on attitude scales. Furthermore, 182 of the informants rated their agreement or disagreement to positive and negative items towards Caló and its speakers on a Likert scale.

The results of the analysis indicate that the attitudes differ towards Caló and Caló speakers, depending on the informant’s (a) ethnicity (b) contact with Caló as well as with Caló speakers, and (c) gender. It is those who – in their own opinion – belong to the ethnic group Calé, as well as those who claim that they have some contact with the variety and its speakers, who show positive attitudes in both parts of the study. The women also show more positive attitudes than the men. It is also possible to note positive attitudes towards the variety and its speakers among the subjects with a high level of knowledge of Caló words, as well as among those with the highest willingness to use Caló.

These observations suggest that a revitalization project of the variety Caló has a clear chance of being successful.

Keyword [en]
Caló, Para-Romani, Romani, attitudes, ethnic identity, minority languages, multilingualism, language death, language revitalization, language acquisition.
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Kultur, identitet och gestaltning
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-19280OAI: diva2:852249
Available from: 2015-09-08 Created: 2015-09-08 Last updated: 2015-09-08Bibliographically approved

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