Mixing methods in the study of language attitudes

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Mixed methods research (MMR) is currently on the rise in the social sciences. This paper provides a theoretical discussion and a practical illustration of MMR in the social psychological study of language attitudes. First, I review perceived obstacles to MMR - in particular, the ‘incompatibility thesis’, whereby quantitative and qualitative methods are assumed to clash epistemologically. I propose an alternative account by which qual and quan research on language attitudes can be integrated on a common theoretical basis that holds attitudes to constitute interactionally processed ‘human epistemological constructs’ (HECs). I apply this approach in MMR on Austrian German, where I integrate a qual analysis of language-attitudinal HECs found in discourse data with a quan speaker evaluation experiment designed to corroborate the qual exegesis.


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