ERIC Number: EJ1036393
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Perception of Dialect Variation
Wagner, Laura; Clopper, Cynthia G.; Pate, John K.
Journal of Child Language, v41 n5 p1062-1084 Sep 2014
A speaker's regional dialect is a rich source of information about that person. Two studies examined five- to six-year-old children's perception of regional dialect: Can they perceive differences among dialects? Have they made meaningful social connections to specific dialects? Experiment 1 asked children to categorize speakers into groups based on their accent; Experiment 2 asked them to match speakers to (un)familiar cultural items. Each child was tested with two of the following: the child's Home dialect, a Regional variant of that dialect, and a Second-Language variant. Results showed that children could successfully categorize only with a Home vs. Second-Language dialect contrast, but could reliably link cultural items with either a Home vs. Second-Language or a Regional vs. Second-Language dialect contrast. These results demonstrate five- to six-year-old children's developing perceptual skill with dialect, and suggest that they have a gradient representation of dialect variation.
Descriptors: Young Children, Dialects, Pronunciation, Childhood Attitudes, Cultural Differences, Cultural Awareness, Comparative Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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