When perception isn't reality: Accent identification and perceptual dialectology in French

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When perception isn't reality: Accent identification and perceptual dialectology in French

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Title: When perception isn't reality: Accent identification and perceptual dialectology in French
Author: Boughton, Zoë
Citation: 16(3), pp.277-304
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Journal: Journal of French Language Studies
Date Issued: 2006-11
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10036/29612
DOI: 10.1017/S0959269506002535
Links: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=517648&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0959269506002535
Abstract: This article examines levelling and diversity in northern urban French pronunciation through the optic of folk (= non-linguists') perceptions of variation. These perceptions are investigated by the identification of authentic voice samples (rather than other instruments widely used in perceptual dialectology such as mental mapping): respondents from the Pays de la Loire region of north-western France heard extracts of scripted speech from Nancy and Rennes, and were asked to identify the speakers' regional background and say whether they were of urban or rural origin. The results of this test show that while some difference between the two speaker location groups was accurately perceived, the informants also formed some inaccurate judgements, partly based on social stereotypes. Overall there is some confirmation of accent levelling, and of general social psychological tendencies such as stereotyping, annexation and time-lag in perceptions of regional–social linguistic variation.
Type: Article
Description: © 2006 Cambridge University Press
Keywords: French language, Social aspectsFrench language, Spoken FrenchFrench language, VariationFrench language, Dialects
ISSN: 0959-2695


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