Logotip de la revista Noves SL





Sociolingüística catalana
Summer 2001

The evolution of the uses and social representation of the languages in Catalonia (1993-2000), by Ernest Querol
In the following research, we have compared the evolution of the results obtained from the empirical investigation done for our doctoral thesis in 1993, with the last ones obtained in October 2000 (both of them taken from a representative sample of 16 year old students from all over Catalonia). You will find since the description (the important argument for the uses of Catalan) going over the explanation (the behaviour of the principal variations that favours them) and you can also read the confirmation of the forecasts made in 1993. So, we have corroborated again the theoretical model that we proposed, and we have improved the covariations previously obtained.



1. Introduction

2. Objectives

3. A new theoretical frame
3.1. The social-linguistic models
3.2. The juridical institution of the representation
3.3. The social representations
3.4. The ethnolinguistic vitality theory
3.5. The catastrophe theory

4. Results
4.1. Descriptive
4.2. Explicative
4.2.1. Correlation, discriminative analysis and analysis of multiple regression
4.2.2. The techniques of induction by graphs (SIPINA)
4.3. Predictive
4.3.1. The predictions of belonging to a linguistic group
4.3.2. The evolution forecasts of linguistic groups since 1993

5. Conclusions

6. Bibliography references

1. Introduction

The research can be classified according to the proposed finalities. We will divide the language sociology ones following this judgement. In outline, we consider that there are three kinds: The ones centred in the description of the language use, the ones that pretend the explanation, and finally, those that want to reach the prediction. The first ones, those that want to describe, are basically centred in the acknowledgement that the inhabitants of a territory have of the less suited language, and the uses that they have given to it. The explanation of these uses are not searched like the previous ones, and once arrived, it is habitually centred in the concept of linguistic attitude, that obtains an explanation index of use around the 10%. Oddly, you can accede to the last step, and when you do, too often it inclines to guess, more than to the fomented prediction.

The results of these levels of research are obviously affected by the different contexts of the studied languages; this makes it difficult to acknowledge the facts of what makes people decide to speak a language or another. Our investigation is centred at Catalonia, and we have proposed to study the uses of the languages from the three commented points of view: the description, the explanation and the prediction. For the first one, we have not needed great innovations; we have followed the habitual way of research. However, for the second and third we have had to make a new model, that we think will have validity for the most varied social – linguistic contexts. We will see it at point three.

2. Objectives

Referring to the description level, we want to know the evolution of the uses from the 16-year-old students around Catalonia since 1993 to year 2000. Regarding the explanation, we are interested in knowing whether the principal facts that we brought out favouring the use of Catalan in 1993 have changed nowadays or not. Finally, regarding the prediction, we will prove to which point the proposals that we did eight years ago have been carried out. In conclusion, we expect to try to corroborate once again our theoretical proposal, thing that we have already obtained in Catalonia in 1993 and in the Valencian community in 1998 (Querol, 1999 and 2000).

3. A new theoretical framework

Attending to the poor results obtained with the concept of linguistic attitude that we commented before, in the late eighties we had the objective of seeking a new method to broach the study for the process of linguistic replacement (or of reversion) (1) that increased the relations between the use of the languages and the new concepts that we had to purpose. We needed to start doing an analysis of the paradigm from the sociology of language and the models more extended in their study, using the contributions from the philosophy of science. (2)

1 de 10