attitudes to accent and dialects theorists (Peter Trudgill and Howard…
attitudes to accent and dialects theorists
'dialects have simply developed in different directions and no one is linguistically better than another'
'value judgements on accents and dialects are extremely common in English and these judgements very often represent class attitudes'
'to make anyone feel so ashamed is as indefensible as to make them feel ashamed of their skin colour
rural accents are judged positively whereas urban accents are not. rural accents are described as musical, whereas urban accents are described as guttural
Howard Giles - matched guise test
RP & South Welsh & Somerset accents which is in the order of social accent, rural accent and another rural accent.
favoured in terms of competency, educated and authoritative. less favourable in terms of integrity and their social nature. indicates no humour
18 adjective traits were collected,
findings: distinct pattern of values emerged. RP speakers were seen as more educated but lacked social attributes the accent only connotes industriousness
Howard Giles - competence vs intergrity
gave 500 17-year-old a questionnaire on capital punishment. from the results he chose 50 groups making sure all the groups contained the same number of males and females
typescript, RP accent, S Welsh, Birmingham and Somerset speakers
students who heard the RP accent were much more enthusiastic than the students who were given the Birmingham transcript. they felt the RP accent was polished
the students switched from RP to the regional accent a week after when the questionnaire was handed back as they felt the regional accent conveyed honesty. whereas the RP accent was boring and did not revel any sense of social background or personality trait
Peter Trudgill and Howard Giles
the experiments show that judgements about accents are not about inherent quality of the sounds. but about what accents stand for in the mind of the hearer
for example the Midlands and the West Midlands is perceived as less desireable than the surrounding areas in the country.
when the social connations of an accent is lacking, then aesthetic responses to a linguistic variery will also differentiate
methodology: used the verbal guise method. involving several speakers, disadvantages are biased results due to voice quality preference. the alternative would be to use an actor who can speak in several different accents called matched guise.
findings: english and scottish were generally rather successful at identifying the accents due to the social connotations. however in some instances mistakes were made, for example some people who identified the Bradford accent as Yorkshire found it much more pleasant then those who incorrectly identified it as from the West Midlands.
findings from Trudgill and Giles experiment
Americans and Canadians were the worst at identifying accents, with the exception of RP, some Americans & Canadians gave unusual responses such as Mexican accent. this is because they had very little knowledge of the accent and that any social connotations would be different from those they had for British listeners as they are aware of the accents and the stereotypes revolving around the accent