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A Combined Perceptual and Acoustical Account of US Dialect Distance
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study examines the influence of attitudinal, perceptual, and acoustic factors on the categorization of US dialects by comparing acoustic-vocalic and perceived accent distances. The results of native and non-native listeners’ perceived distances between US regional accents are investigated in light of how acoustic-phonetic markers, attitudinal judgments, and identifiability may together impact how similar or different accents are perceived to be. Responses from 80 native and 40 non-native listeners provided perceived distance scores, attitudinal judgements, and categorization results for seven regional, and one non-regional, samples. A comparison of the regional distributions through hierarchical cluster analyses for vowel formant measurements and perceptual results, accompanied by an exploratory factor analysis, reveals a combination of several factors which result in groupings 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of English, Stockholm University , 2020. , p. 261
Keywords [en]
US English, dialects, dialectometry, perception, acoustics, sociophonetics
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics Specific Languages
Research subject
English
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175593ISBN: 978-91-7797-881-7 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7797-882-4 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-175593DiVA, id: diva2:1368065
Public defence
2020-01-25, Hörsal 9, hus D, Södra huset, Universitetsvägen 10 D, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
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Available from: 2019-12-19 Created: 2019-11-05 Last updated: 2019-12-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf