Linguistic prejudice in Budapest and its correlates

Miklós Kontra

University of Szeged and Linguistics Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary

Paper

Linguistic prejudice in Budapest and its correlates

In the English literature, both popular and scholarly, much has been written about prejudice

concerning linguistic matters. As regards Hungary and Hungarians, few are the empirical studies that

deal with the various kinds of prejudiced views and their social distribution. This paper attempts to fill

this gap, to some extent, by reporting on the findings of a study conducted in 2005 with a random

stratified sample (N=200) in Budapest. Grammaticality judgments and oral sentence-completion data

were gathered in a way that replicated a 1988 study across Hungary. Two questions were asked: (1)

When you turn on the radio and hear an unknown person speak for about two minutes, can you judge

how smart or intelligent the person is? (2) When you turn on the radio and hear an unknown person

speak for about two minutes, can you judge how trustworthy or honest the person is? Answers were

given on a 5-point scale. The data on prejudice will be analyzed vis-à-vis 35 grammaticality

judgments and 16 oral sentence-completion tasks. The aim of this exploratory study is to establish

what (if any) correlations exist between speakers’ degree of linguistic prejudice and their

grammaticality judgments and oral sentence-completion data.

Session: Paper session
Attitude 5
Saturday, April 5, 2008, 11:00-12:30
room: 09