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ERIC Number: EJ985940
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1547-5441
Language-Based Social Preferences among Children in South Africa
Kinzler, Katherine D.; Shutts, Kristin; Spelke, Elizabeth S.
Language Learning and Development, v8 n3 p215-232 2012
Monolingual English-speaking children in the United States express social preferences for speakers of their native language with a native accent. Here we explore the nature of children's language-based social preferences through research with children in South Africa, a multilingual nation. Like children in the United States, Xhosa South African children preferred speakers of their first language (Xhosa) to speakers of a foreign language (French). Thus, social preferences based on language are observed not only among children with limited exposure to cultural and linguistic variation but also among children living in a diverse linguistic environment. Moreover, Xhosa children attending school in English expressed social preferences for speakers of English over speakers of Xhosa, even when tested by a Xhosa-speaking experimenter. Thus, children's language-based social preferences do not depend exclusively on preferences for more familiar or intelligible speech but also extend to preferences for speech that may convey higher status in the child's society.
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; 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: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A