The paper examines the language attitudes in non-dominating language communities of pluricentric languages. It asks in what way the fact of being a speaker of a non-dominating language community influences the perception of the own competence and of the evaluation of the different standard varieties of the pluricentric language. By examining the attitudes towards Swiss Standard German in German-speaking Switzerland it argues that speakers of non-dominating language communities often have the notion that their own standard variety being deficient combined with a feeling of lingual inferiority towards the speakers of the dominating community. Thus, the standard variety of the dominating community serves as a prestigious variety. In Switzerland these attitudes strongly correlate with the age of the acquisition of Standard German and the negative attitudes towards Germans. Finally the paper raises the question whether the concept of pluricentricity can adequately be used when there ist no awareness of pluricentricity among the speakers. The data presented derives from two empirical studies conducted in Switzerland in the summer of 2003: a survey on language attitudes and a subjective evaluation test.
ASJC Scopus subject areas