Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139


This paper investigates the effect of listener attitudes on the ability to understand a foreign (non-Australian) accent. The research focuses on individual listener characteristics, such as attitude and frequency of contact with accented speakers, rather than speech production. Data was collected through a web-based survey and analysis employed both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Correlation was found between a negative attitude toward other ethnicities and ability to correctly transcribe foreign-accented speech, with a stronger correlation between a negative attitude and comprehensibility. Qualitative analysis of participant comments highlighted discrepancies in attitude testing methods and indicated that an accent can inspire many assumptions, the most common being that foreign-accented speakers have a lower level of education than Australian-accented speakers. The results suggest that future research in this area should always try to account for individual participant characteristics.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): accent; attitudes; comprehensibility; intelligibility; listener characteristics
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