ERIC Number: EJ1061518
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
The Sociolinguistics of Variety Identification and Categorisation: Free Classification of Varieties of Spoken English Amongst Non-Linguist Listeners
McKenzie, Robert M.
Language Awareness, v24 n2 p150-168 2015
In addition to the examination of non-linguists' evaluations of different speech varieties, in recent years sociolinguists and sociophoneticians have afforded greater attention towards the ways in which naïve listeners perceive, process, and encode spoken language variation, including the identification of language varieties as regionally or socially localised forms. The present study attempts to extend understanding of non-linguists' perceptions of linguistic diversity through the investigation of how accurately and consistently UK-born students, resident in the north-east of England, can identify the speaker place of origin of six forms of L1 and L2 English. The results demonstrate that whilst the process of encoding indexical properties to and categorisations of speech stimulus as belonging to a specific language variety is complex, there is a clear tendency amongst informants to initially identify the speech as either native or non-native, most especially through the perception of specific segmental and non-segmental phonological features, before attempting more fine-grained classifications. The findings also point to the recognition of speaker place of origin at different levels of awareness, above and below the level of individual consciousness.
Descriptors: Sociolinguistics, Language Variation, English, Native Language, English (Second Language), Identification, Metalinguistics, Foreign Countries, Classification, Speech Communication, Phonology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)