CLAS PhD candidate, Elizabeth Burgess, got in touch with the blog to tell us about her linguistic research and her recent appearance on a radio programme in Valencia:
I am Elizabeth and I am currently in the second year of a PhD in Hispanic Studies in CLAS. My PhD project examines language policy and efforts to revitalise Valencian in Alicante. My research is not only concerned with the political side of language policy but also the attitudes that people hold towards Valencian and Castilian, and their use of both languages. As such, an essential part of this PhD is the collection of sociolinguistic data from local people. Since January I have been in Alicante conducting interviews in the towns of San Vicente del Raspeig and Villajoyosa.
Before embarking on the fieldwork I was concerned that finding people to take part in my study would be difficult. How wrong I was! So far I have interviewed 60 people and collected some valuable data. People have been incredibly helpful and enthusiastic about my project and recommended further research participants. This ‘friend of a friend’ technique has been extremely useful and enabled me to speak to representative sample of the local population.
This friend of a friend method also led to an appearance on local radio!
I recently took a break from interviewing and instead was the one being interviewed on Radio San Vicente. Once a week, a group of volunteers host a magazine programme in Valencian called L’Almàssera. During a 20-minute interview I spoke about my research project, why I had chosen to study Valencian and compared language revitalisation in Spain and Britain. Having the opportunity to see behind the scenes of a radio station and to hear the motivations behind the programme was very interesting. Additionally, speaking to local people in their language about my project was a valuable experience and it was gratifying to hear that they are interested in my research.
Here is the recording, if you are interested. My interview starts after about 10 minutes:
If you want to know more about my project, join my blog at: