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Linguistic Insecurity

  • Date Submitted: 11/19/2011 10:03 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 39.9 
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Chapter 1

1.1 Introduction:
The purpose of this study is to investigate the feeling of linguistic insecurity among Pakistani graduate students. ‘Linguistic insecurity’ refers to ‘a set of language attitudes in which speakers have negative feeling about their native variety or certain aspects of it, and feel insecure about its value’ (Trudgill: 1992). Due to this linguistic insecurity the speakers try to use a variety/language enjoying higher status in that speech community. Thus the speakers’ perception about their own language develops the feeling of insecurity among them. They construct and display this feeling of linguistic insecurity in everyday interactional situations. In order to over come this feeling of linguistic insecurity they switch from their low status considered language to a high prestige enjoying variety/language (Labov: 1972).

It has been observed that the multi-lingual countries have a large number of such speakers as feel linguistically feel insecure about their own native language. Such speakers have so many languages/varieties in their speech community but every language does not enjoy the equal status in the speech community. This inequality of status and prestige leads the speakers towards linguistic insecurity and development of negative attitude for low status considered language. Women are specifically more inclined towards the use of such variety/language that enjoys highest status in the society (Trudgill: 1974). Thus the women exhibit linguistic insecurity more than the men do. In most of the societies, women are more prestige conscious as compared to men. In order to show their prestige they often use such language that enjoys prestige in the society.
1.2 Linguistic Insecurity in Pakistani Context:..
Pakistan is a multi-cultural and multi-lingual country. Urdu is its national language and English is its national language. Besides these two languages the four provinces of Pakistan have their own regional languages. These...


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