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study 2: social perception of dialects (David Bowie and Wendy Baker) Two types of social perception: Status (we admire these people): intelligence, businesslike,

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Presentation on theme: "study 2: social perception of dialects (David Bowie and Wendy Baker) Two types of social perception: Status (we admire these people): intelligence, businesslike,"— Presentation transcript:

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2 study 2: social perception of dialects (David Bowie and Wendy Baker) Two types of social perception: Status (we admire these people): intelligence, businesslike, correct, dependable Solidarity (we like these people): friendly, pleasant, funny, similar to you Do we perceive speakers of some varieties of English as being more intelligent or more friendly?

3 background: Preston’s research on north/south Tested Northerners (Michiganders) and Southerners (Alabamans) on their perception of northern and southern speech Participants rate speakers from different states on scales of solidarity and status: Example: Politeness

4 background: results Who scored highest on status characteristics? Michigan Who scored highest on solidarity characteristics? Alabama In other words, we tend to admire speakers of some dialects, but think they are unfriendly. We think speakers of other dialects are friendly, but kind of dumb

5 replication with Californians, Floridians and Utahans Student participants were given map and were asked to rate each state on a scale from 1 “strongly does not have characteristic” to 6 “strongly has characteristic”

6 characteristics examined (among others) Status: correct, intelligent Solidarity: pleasant, similar to you States marked in red on the following maps indicate that participants thought this state “very strongly” had this characteristic; pinks and blues indicate that participants thought this state “very strongly” did not have this characteristic

7 California Utah Florida 1. correct

8 California Utah Florida 2. intelligent

9 California Utah Florida 3. pleasant

10 California Utah Florida 4. similar to you

11 study 2: conclusions Californians: think they are correct, pleasant and very intelligent Floridians: think they are correct, intelligent and pleasant and that no one is like them Utahans: Don’t think they are correct, don’t think anyone is intelligent and think everyone is pleasant Utahans display the most linguistic insecurity Californians and Floridians think they score high on both status and solidarity characteristics Don’t see as strong north/south prejudice as in eastern U.S.


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