Publication Date

2011-05-06

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2011-05-06

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Teaching and Learning (Education)

Date of Defense

2011-04-12

First Committee Member

Elizabeth Harry

Second Committee Member

Okhee Lee

Third Committee Member

Mileidis Gort

Fourth Committee Member

Steven Heine

Abstract

Many thinkers argue that major differences among languages lead to major differences in experience and thought. Each speech community possibly embodies a distinct world view. The purpose of this study was to explore, through the use of proverbs, the relationship between acculturation and world views among monolingual and bilingual Chinese, with proficiency in Chinese and/or English used a proxy for level of acculturation. Data were collected through questionnaires and qualitative interviews regarding attitudes to English and Chinese proverbs. Data were analyzed by means of SPSS and modified grounded theory methodology. The statistical and qualitative findings contradicted each other: the former found a significant effect for monolingual English speakers, while the latter indicated much more mixed responses with no clear patterns related to language. Implications of findings were discussed and a “global view” was proposed to take the place of a culturally-based world view.

Keywords

Chinese world view; linguistic relativity principle; bilingualism; proverb; acculturation; qualitative thematic analysis

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