Publication details [#60874]

Hardeman Guthrie, Kate. 2016. Gender and second language style. American learner perceptions of Mandarin sajiao. Asia-Pacific Language Variation 2 (2) : 157–187.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


Gender has been shown to be a salient factor in acquisition of second language variation (Adamson & Regan, 1991; Major, 2004; Meyerhoff & Schleef, 2012; Rehner, Mougeon, & Nadasdi, 2003; Schleef, Meyerhoff, & Clark, 2011). However, these studies have primarily focused on learner production of target language variation and style in the sense of attention paid to speech. There has been little focus on learner perceptions of the social meanings associated with L2 variants and styles. The present article addresses this gap in the research by examining L2 learner perceptions of a gendered style of speaking in Mandarin Chinese known as sajiao. Results from a perception experiment confirm the salience of gender in the acquisition of L2 variation and show that American L2 Mandarin learners have acquired some of the social meanings associated with sajiao but not others. An acoustic phonetic analysis of sajiao is also presented.