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The Politician and the Accent: An interview study about students' perceptions of a politician speaking English with a Swedish accent
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Swedish speakers of English tend to speak with an accent, but the attitudes toward said accent is unknown. While a few studies have been made regarding listeners' perceptions of their own first language accents, the results varied and did not specifically adress English with a Swedish accent. In the present study of attitudes toward accent, listeners were Swedish, the spoken target language was English, and the speaker was a person in power. Eight informants of Swedish and English language backgrounds watched a video recording of Swedish politician Margot Wallström speaking English with a Swedish accent, after which they were asked questions regarding her accent and their perceptions and attitudes thereof. While the Swedish informants' attitudes were more negative and expressed that Wallström should be able to speak with less Swedish accent, the non-Swedes were more neutral and thought that the accent was expected and acceptable. The results suggest that Swedes have high expectations of their accents when speaking English, which is relevant for English speakers, especially public ones, with Swedish language backgrounds.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
English, Swedish, Swenglish, accent
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-31318OAI: diva2:941061
Subject / course
Available from: 2016-06-22 Created: 2016-06-21 Last updated: 2016-06-22Bibliographically approved

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General Language Studies and Linguistics

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