NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ845479
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-0165-0254
Categorization of Regional and Foreign Accent in 5- to 7-Year-Old British Children
Floccia, Caroline; Butler, Joseph; Girard, Frederique; Goslin, Jeremy
International Journal of Behavioral Development, v33 n4 p366-375 2009
This study examines children's ability to detect accent-related information in connected speech. British English children aged 5 and 7 years old were asked to discriminate between their home accent from an Irish accent or a French accent in a sentence categorization task. Using a preliminary accent rating task with adult listeners, it was first verified that the level of accentedness was similar across the two unfamiliar accents. Results showed that whereas the younger children group behaved just above chance level in this task, the 7-year-old group could reliably distinguish between these variations of their own language, but were significantly better at detecting the foreign accent than the regional accent. These results extend and replicate a previous study (Girard, Floccia, & Goslin, 2008) in which it was found that 5-year-old French children could detect a foreign accent better than a regional accent. The factors underlying the relative lack of awareness for a regional accent as opposed to a foreign accent in childhood are discussed, especially the amount of exposure, the learnability of both types of accents, and a possible difference in the amount of vowels versus consonants variability, for which acoustic measures of vowel formants and plosives voice onset time are provided. (Contains 1 table, 2 footnotes, and 3 figures.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)