Catrin Williams

Thesis title:

Language Ideologies and Urban Welsh


Welsh language planners want to incorporate Welsh as an official, economically relevant language used in the public sphere in day-to-day life (Welsh Government 2016:9-11,13-15,17), but the language is widely idealised as a rural phenomenon. Tension between policy goals for Welsh and its idealisation as a rural language is not properly addressed in government documents, which are filled with terms such as ‘inheritance’ and ‘national identity’ and speak as if the population was socio-economically and ethnically homogenous, overlooking the increasing diversity of urban environments.Catrin’s study will draw on linguistic ethnography, working with a “layered and multi-scalar conceptualisation of context” (Blommaert et al 2011: 11), and it will investigate how the new urban social domain affects conventionalised language usage and disrupts ‘semiotic regularity’ (Agha 2007: 205). It will examine micro-level phonological and lexical variables and focus on reflexive stylisation to understand language ideologies and the indexical associations conveyed by speakers.

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First supervisor:

Ben Rampton


7 – Linguistics, Media & Culture