Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Linguistics

First Advisor's Name

Phillip M. Carter

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Ellen Thompson

Third Advisor's Name

Melissa Baralt

Keywords

Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Perceptual dialectology, Language ideology, Dialects

Date of Defense

11-12-2013

Abstract

Sociolinguists have discussed problematic language ideologies, such as Standard Language Ideology (Lippi-Green 1997) extensively and social perceptions of Standard English in the U.S and U.K are well documented. However, most work in this area has focused on perceptions of dialects within national contexts. This study makes a novel contribution to the study of language attitudes, investigating perceptions of British regional dialects within the U.S. A survey was created to gauge perceptions of five British regional dialects (Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, London). 49 survey participants listened to audio clips of British regional dialect speakers and then completed a mapping activity, answered perception questions, and ranked each speaker on specific qualities. Results showed that speaker region had a significant effect on perception of almost all variables at a statistically significant rate, despite unfamiliarity with all but the London dialect. Results suggest that although participants are largely unfamiliar with varieties of English in England outside of London, they assessed them by recruiting pre-existing stereotypes about vernacular dialects.

Identifier

FI13112501

Included in

Linguistics Commons

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