Volume 39, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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Folk ideologies about regional variation often depend on the consideration of certain varieties in contrast with the idea of a linguistically unmarked, standard way of speaking ( Preston 1996 ; Lippi-Green 2012 ). This study analyzes the relationship between those abstract ideologies and in-the-moment reactions to linguistic input. Examining this question with respect to American English, a listening task manipulated where speakers were said to be from and whether the speakers used regional speech varieties linked to those places. Listeners were asked to make social judgments about speakers with varying degrees of local accentedness said to be from Southern, Northeastern, and Midwestern locales in the U.S.; these locations were selected to target highly enregistered nonstandard dialect areas versus more linguistically “unmarked” regions. Results indicate that while pre-existing sociolinguistic stereotypes about these three locations in some cases trumped the actual linguistic input that listeners encountered, effects of accentedness also varied in place-specific ways related to expectations for each locale.


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