“Since when does the Midwest have an accent?”
The role of regional U.S. accents and reported speaker origin in speaker evaluations
Folk ideologies about regional variation often depend on the consideration of certain varieties in contrast with the idea of a linguistically unmarked, standard way of speaking (Preston 1996; Lippi-Green 2012). This study analyzes the relationship between those abstract ideologies and in-the-moment reactions to linguistic input. Examining this question with respect to American English, a listening task manipulated where speakers were said to be from and whether the speakers used regional speech varieties linked to those places. Listeners were asked to make social judgments about speakers with varying degrees of local accentedness said to be from Southern, Northeastern, and Midwestern locales in the U.S.; these locations were selected to target highly enregistered nonstandard dialect areas versus more linguistically “unmarked” regions. Results indicate that while pre-existing sociolinguistic stereotypes about these three locations in some cases trumped the actual linguistic input that listeners encountered, effects of accentedness also varied in place-specific ways related to expectations for each locale.
Keywords: language attitudes, language ideologies, speech perception, speaker evaluation, regional dialects, sense of place, American English
Published online: 31 May 2018
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Clopper, Cynthia G.
Clopper, Cynthia G., and David B. Pisoni
DiStefano, Christine, Min Zhu, and Diana Mîndrilă
Giles, Howard, and Peter Powesland
Hartley, Laura C., and Dennis Preston
Iannàccaro, Gabriele, and Vittorio Dell’Aquila
Jeon, Lisa, and Patricia Cukor-Avila
Johnstone, Barbara, Jennifer Andrus, and Andrew E. Danielson
Labov, William, Sharon Ash, and Charles Boberg
Ladegaard, Hans J.
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Lee, Richard R.
Milroy, Leslie, and Dennis R. Preston
Milroy, Lesley, and P. McClenaghan
Niedzielski, Nancy A.
Purnell, Thomas, William Idsardi, and John Baugh
Staum Casasanto, Laura
Williams, R. T.
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