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Saturday, October 12 • 10:30am - 10:55am
Regan & Maldonado: Place names as a site of indexical meaning: The perception of place names in Austin, TX

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Place names as a site of indexical meaning: The perception of place names in Austin, TX

This study analyzes the perception of monolingual and bilingual place names in Austin, TX. A matched-guise experiment was created by digitally manipulating speech from a map-task with 4 monolingual and 4 Spanish-English bilingual Austinites, varying only in place name pronunciations. Monolingual names (Manor, Burnet) varied between ‘local’ ([ˈme.nɝɹ], [ˈbɚɹ.nɪt]) and ‘non-local’ ([ˈmæ.nɝɹ], [bɚɹ.ˈnɛt]). Spanish names (Guadalupe, Manchaca) varied between English and Spanish phonology. 127 listeners in Austin evaluated the 16 guises and distractors. Mixed effects linear regressions found that for monolingual names, speakers with ‘local’ variants were perceived as more Austinite. However, for bilingual names, non-Hispanic listeners perceived speakers with Spanish phonology as less local; Hispanic listeners perceived speakers with Spanish phonology as more respectful. The implications are (i): differences in perceptions of Spanish versus English names reflect monoglot language ideologies of who is an authentic local; (ii) place name variation is a rich site of socio-indexical information.

Speakers
BR

Brendan Regan

Texas Tech University
MM

Megan Maldonado

University of Texas at Austin


Saturday October 12, 2019 10:30am - 10:55am
EMU Crater Lake N
  • Session type Talk
  • Chair: Nicole Holliday


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