|Keywords:||Sociolinguistics; Identity; Accent; Attitudes; Lithuanian language|
|Full text PDF:||http://hdl.handle.net/1887/38521|
This paper sets out to investigate Lithuanians’ attitudes towards foreign languages in the light of political, cultural, and historical situation that Lithuania witnessed during the turn from the 20th to the 21st century. The aim of this paper is twofold: 1) to determine what type of identities Lithuanians ascribe to speakers with foreign accents and 2) to establish the motivations behind choosing Lithuanian versus foreign languages in daily life. The research that was carried out in Lithuania consisted of two parts. The first part of the research used attitudinal study and the second part used a questionnaire distributed around Lithuania. These tools were used to assess Lithuanian opinions of six speakers with various accents, and to analyse the rationale for choosing either the mother tongue or a foreign language in different situations. The results showed that the attitudes towards foreign speakers of Lithuanian differ between the capital city and the smaller town chosen for this study, and that the main reason for choosing Lithuanian over foreign languages in daily settings is more often based on the emphasis of national identity. The findings also suggest that while for the respondents in the smaller town chosen for this study, a standard Lithuanian speaker was an ultimate example of a successful person, the respondents in the capital city saw an American speaker of Lithuanian as the most prosperous individual. Advisors/Committee Members: Smakman, Dick (advisor).