Chapter published in:Language Variation - European Perspectives VII: Selected papers from the Ninth International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 9), Malaga, June 2017
Edited by Juan-Andrés Villena-Ponsoda, Francisco Díaz Montesinos, Antonio-Manuel Ávila-Muñoz and Matilde Vida-Castro
[Studies in Language Variation 22] 2019
► pp. 54–70
Evaluations of foreign accent in a purist speech community
The case of Iceland
This study was directed both at evaluations of foreign-accented Icelandic according to listeners’ background and the possible consequences of evaluations for the linguistic climate in Iceland. Seven female non-native speakers, representing the largest immigrant groups, and one native speaker of Icelandic were recorded and subsequently evaluated according to eight personality traits. Statistical analysis of answers of 538 Icelanders revealed that women and those over 60 are generally more positive in their evaluation as compared to men or those under 60 years. Overall, results imply, firstly, that those accents which can be categorised as Western are preferred over those that belong to Eastern Europeans or Asians and, secondly, that the native Icelandic accent is not always rated highest.
Keywords: Icelandic, foreign accent, language attitudes, stereotypes, language variation, verbal guise, listener background, linguistic climate
Published online: 12 December 2019
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