ANALYSIS OF PECULIARITY OF USAGE OF AUSTRIAN GERMAN IN SOCIOLINGUISTIC ASPECT

Mykola Karpik

Abstract


The article presents the application of sociolinguistic methods of language study. The proposed research aimed at analyzing the functions of the Austrian variant of the German language in public contexts and disclosing some peculiarities of its use. The issue was addressed by analyzing sociolinguistic and statistic data that we had acquired in 2009–2019. A work with informants was one of the stages of our research. Within the framework of the study of Austrian German we surveyed 102 Austrian respondents, native speakers of the language variant, who represent various social groups and reside in different regions of Austria.
The analysis of the received responses showed that the majority of respondents comprehend the concept Austriacism not only in theory, but in practice as well for the bulk of Austriacisms, given as examples in the questionnaire, were known for the informants.
The respondents gave predominantly affirmative answers to the question “Do you consider Austriacisms to be the recognized word stock of the standard language?” The use of Austriacisms is also majorly not considered obsolete, hens we can conclude, that Austrian German is a modern colloquial language. These results demonstrate the positive attitude to Austriacisms. Approximately half of the surveyed (49%) showed no awareness of Record 10 on the use of the specific Austrian terms in the German language and this result is seen quite expected. Only 7 % of the surveyed were able to name the number of expressions in this Record. Other responses allow us to address Austriacims as an intrinsic part of Austrian culture and history.
A surprising response we received to the question “Would you like Austriacisms to be used by the residents of other German speaking countries?” given by 40 % of the respondents answering Yes. However, the following responses show that the Austrians consider Austriacisms a factor of identity formation, so they would object to the usage by the non-Austrians.
Therefore, the hypothesis, formed at the beginning of our research, has found some evidence to support it. The results of experimental use of Austriacisms make it possible to draw the following conclusions:
Austrian German is an essential however secondary means of communication in Austria; its use reflects Austrian social reality and national culture. Austrian German acts as an element of Austrian national identity, thus, a further research on its communicative role is an essential task for modern German Studies.

Keywords


sociolinguistic survey; work with informants; Austrian German

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21303/2504-5571.2019.001077



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