It's not phonetic aesthetics that drives dialect preference:the case of Swiss German

Leemann, Adrian and Kolly, Marie-José and Nolan, Francis (2015) It's not phonetic aesthetics that drives dialect preference:the case of Swiss German. In: Proceedings of ICPhS 2015. UNSPECIFIED. ISBN 9780852619414

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Abstract

Dialect stereotypes are widespread. Birmingham English is perceived as ugly, Parisian French as cultivated. In Switzerland, Bern and Thurgau Swiss German lie on opposite ends of the attractiveness spectrum. In the present study, we examined how Swiss German, French, and English listeners – the latter two being unfamiliar with the dialects – rated the phonetic aesthetics of these two Swiss German dialects. In a matched-guise design, listeners judged how pleasing stimuli read by a bidialectal speaker were. Results revealed that unfamiliar listeners did not show a preference while familiar listeners strongly preferred Bern Swiss German. The attractiveness of a dialect thus seems to be largely driven by the social attributes of its speakers and less so by its phonetic aesthetics. The realization of /r/ as apical or dorsal, however, strongly influenced preference judgments in familiar listeners

Item Type:
Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings
ID Code:
125858
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
22 Jun 2018 13:08
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
13 Sep 2020 06:53