Language attitudes

Host Faculty: Arts
General Subject Area: Linguistics
Project Level: PhD
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Language attitudes

Attitudes to language are often automatic, and go 'below the radar'. We are often tempted to think that certain ways of talking are 'not very educated' or 'not very friendly'. These assessments, when unchallenged, can have real consequences for speakers of non-standard varieties of language. There has been surprisingly little recent research on language attitudes in New Zealand.

In this project, the student would investigate language attitudes in New Zealand using a range of methodologies (surveys, perceptual tests, interviews, text analysis). The project would be shaped by the student, but could investigate issues such as: sociolinguistic salience, accent commodification, social priming, and implicit and explicit attitudes. Please get in touch with the listed supervisor if you have an idea for a project in this area.


Supervisor: Kevin Watson

Key qualifications and skills

A relevant Masters degree in Linguistics, with some experience of sociolinguistics

Does the project come with funding

No - student must be self-funded.

Final date for receiving applications



linguistics; attitudes; sociolinguistics; new zealand;