Katya Pertsova, professor in the linguistics department and one of the researchers on this study, said she wanted to assess the climate of linguistic issues in academic adversity.
“We were just interested in what UNC students think about this,” Pertsova said.
Amy Reynolds, graduate student in the linguistics department, said the questions on the survey were based on student background, perception of language and academic performance.
Pertsova said the researchers approached the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs about including linguistic diversity in the diversity trainings on campus.
“The questions that we got from them were ‘is this even an issue?’ and ‘can you show us that this is an issue?’ so we wanted to find out,” Pertsova said.
Pertsova said she hopes to raise awareness and start a conversation about linguistic diversity.
“Linguistic profiling is just as important as racial and cultural profiling because linguistics is just a marker of identity,” she said. “It’s totally acceptable to judge someone on the way they speak but it’s not acceptable to judge someone on their skin color.”
Becky Butler, multilingual writing specialist at The Writing Center, said they are gathering information from faculty about their opinions regarding linguistic norms.