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September 1, 2008 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Stealing is for suckers

Stealing is for suckers

This week’s ‘Victorian Theses’ is a double dose of lame. I would have two really interesting theses to talk about, but some fucker stole my mp3 player from KK207 on 19 August. So if you know anyone with a new pink DSE mp3 player filled with music they don’t listen to: swear at them for me. ‘Kay thanks.

Instead, I have a mini thesis this week. I wasn’t going to do it, because I don’t feel I can do it justice. But then I realised, dude, people need to know this shit. So here it is.

Linguistic Convergence

Molly Babel attempted to recreate a Welsh study on linguistic patterns. In that study, ethnicly Welsh students of the Welsh language were exposed to an English nationalist, who was very dismissive of Welsh culture and the Welsh language. The students who were attending the classes as part of their work, or were otherwise having their tuition paid for altered their accents to sound less Welsh, disassociating from the attack. However the accents of those who were attending on their own initiative actually became more Welsh, confronting the speaker.

In Babel’s study, New Zealanders are exposed to an Australian. In one sample, the Australian is very dismissive of New Zealand, and Babel predicted that the New Zealanders’ accents would become more distinctively Kiwi in response. In the other sample, the Australian was born in New Zealand, was keen to return to New Zealand at some point, and was generally complementary of New Zealand. This sample was expected to sound less Kiwi following exposure, attempting to relate to the Austrlian speaker.

In fact, Babel’s results were the exact opposite of her hypothosis. The New Zealanders who the Australian related to became more Kiwi, while those antagonised by the Australian lost some of their accent.

Babel proposes that the New Zealanders whose accents became more pronounced may have been because of national pride upon receiving the comments, and less pronounced as a conflict minimising strategy against the insults.

Also. The person who pinched my shit (not just the mp3 player, but my cellphone on Tuesday): Fuck you.


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