Perceptions of Language in East Timor

Ross, Melody Ann
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University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics
Preston (1982) made a strong case for the validity and sophistication of speaker knowledge by demonstrating that individual and societal language use is the product of careful thought and reflection. Map tasks are a methodology commonly used by Preston and others in perceptual dialectology studies to gather data on a particular population’s perceptions of language use. The task requires participants to mark language boundaries or language areas on a (usually) pre-printed map, drawing on their own notions, experiences, observations, or stereotypes. Very little work has been done on the systematic evaluation of Timorese opinions of language use in their country, apart from interviews (Quinn 2008, 2010) and surveys or questionnaires (UNMIT 2012, Leach 2012). To add to this body of literature, the present study investigates Timorese perceptions of language use, and particularly the strength of the connection between language and place in East Timor, using Preston’s map-task methodology.
Ross, Melody Ann. 2015. Perceptions of Language in East Timor. University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Working Papers in Linguistics 46(4).
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