The effect of speakers’ regional varieties on listeners’ decision-making

Leemann, Adrian and Bernardasci, Camilla and Nolan, Francis (2015) The effect of speakers’ regional varieties on listeners’ decision-making. In: Proceedings of Interspeech 2015. Proceedings of Interspeech . UNSPECIFIED, pp. 1670-1674.

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It has been widely reported that speech provides cues to a speaker's regional background. Little is known about how such cues influence human behavior, however. In the present study we used a matched-guise design to test how speakers' regional accents affect listeners' decision-making. In three scenarios, 72 subjects from three regions in Switzerland were asked to choose either the Standard German, Bern, or Zurich German speaker when asked to select a secretary, surgeon, or travel companion. Results revealed that preferences differed depending on the scenario. We further report two results that have not been described before: (1) the Standard accent was least preferred in all scenarios; (2) in-group favoritism seems to apply only partially to the Swiss context: the Zurich variety was the most preferred variety for all listener groups. We discuss implications from the point of view of accent prestige and social identity theory.

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20 Jun 2018 13:48
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20 Sep 2023 02:25