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Friday, October 11 • 3:40pm - 5:30pm
(B5) LaMonica: Factors in an acoustical-attitudinal account of dialect perception

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Factors in an acoustical-attitudinal account of dialect perception

This study examines listeners’ perceived distances between US regional accents and investigates how acoustic-phonetic markers, attitudinal judgments, and identifiability may together impact accent perception. Responses from 80 native and 40 non-native listeners provided perceived distance scores, attitudinal judgements, and categorization results for 7 regional and 1 non-regional samples. A comparison of the regional distributions through hierarchical cluster analyses for vowel formant measurements and perceptual results, accompanied by exploratory factor analysis, reveals a combination of several factors which result in clusters similar to those evident in perceptual distances: 1) markedness, 2) attitude, 3) associations with ‘standardness’, and 4) identifiability. These demonstrate the involvement of perceptions of and pre-existing associations with an identified accent when making a judgement of similarity/difference between varieties, which may furthermore override the initial acoustic information. Based on this investigation, judgements of relatedness between accents are furthermore shown to support previous qualitative models of dialect perception and comprehension.


Clelia LaMonica

Stockholm University

Friday October 11, 2019 3:40pm - 5:30pm PDT
EMU Ballroom