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Links between Catalan identity and the perception of ethno-linguistic vitality in a sample of university students

Author(s): M. Àngels Viladot | Moisès Esteban

ISSN 1575-2275

Issue: 11;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: perception of ethno-linguistic vitality | Catalan identity | inter-group communication

This article analyses, on the one hand, the perception of ethno-linguistic vitality in a sample of university students in the province of Girona, and, on the other, links this perceived vitality to the feeling of identity in the group to which they belong. 112 Catalan-speaking students who described themselves as Catalan (Catalan identity) responded to the questionnaire on subjective vitality, in terms of adaptation to Catalan. This instrument assesses the beliefs about one's own group's and its language's vitality (in this case Catalan) and that of the exocentric group and language (in this case Spanish). The results show that the students see their language (Catalan) as having greater status and institutional support than Spanish, but a lower demographic impact (birth rate, immigration, mixed marriages, emigration). Identity is also positively correlated with the perception of ethno-linguistic perception. These results are discussed in relation to the role of vitality in the choice of the language for education (Catalan versus Spanish) and day-to-day communication, and the level at which language policy is defined in order to promote communication in Catalan in the fields of business, politics, education and the media.

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