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Summary Details

Query:   Accent Studies - Compilation
Author:  Roberto Perez
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Phonology

Summary:   Regarding query: http://linguistlist.org/issues/17/17-1671.html#2

Hi all,

Here's a compilation of the resources, pointers, etc., I got in response to
my query ''Accent Judgement Tests''. Many thanks to everyone who
contributed (L. Alcalay, Z. Abuhamdia, K. Chung, K. Stanley, C. Rowe, K.
Jesney, J. Weckwerth, T. Lewis, I. Plag, P. Edmunds, C. Sanchez).

Names of researchers/authors who have published in this area:
- Donaldo Macedo (Univ. of Massachusetts Boston)

- Thomas Scovel (San Fransisco State University)

- Terry Thatcher (wrote a dissertation on this subject)

- Kathryn Campbell-Kibler (wrote a dissertation on this subject)
http://www.campbell-kibler.com/kathryn/ (esp. Chapter 3)

- Walt Wolfram (mainly about AAVE)

- Karen Jesney (Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst; wrote excellent report
comparing / summarizing studies)

- Eileen Brennan (Portland State Univ., wrote dissertation and articles on

- Hans Ladegaard and (especially) Cynthia Clopper and David Pisoni.

- Lambert et al.

- Howard Giles (with several co-authors)

- James Emil Flege (University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Recommended articles:

Giles, Howard. 1970. ''Evaluative reactions to accents''. Educational Review
22: 211-227.

Markham, Duncan. 1997. Phonetic imitation, accent, and the learner.
Lund: Lund University Press.

Herbst, Thomas. 1992. ''Pro-Nunciation: Zur Bedeutung einer guten
Aussprache in der Fremdsprache''. DNS, number 91, p. 2-18. (About German
accent in English)

** [compiled / annotated by Karen Jesney]

Brennan, Eileen M. and John Stephen Brennan. 1981a. Accent Scaling and
Language Attitudes: Reactions to Mexican American English Speech. Language
and Speech, 24(3): 207-221. [Found no significant differences in
accentedness scores assigned by Mexican American and Anglo-American raters.
''Solidarity'' scores, however, varied based on raters' backgrounds. -
there are 2 other related studies by Eileen Brennan]

McDermott, W.L. Calla. 1986. The Scalability of Degrees of Foreign Accent.
Ph.D.Dissertation. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. [Tests for and discusses
at length a range of the factors that might influence raters in their
accentedness judgments. Raters were found to put varying emphasis on a
range of phonological factors; as well, familiarity with foreign languages and
accents significantly influenced judgments.]

Munro, Murray J. and Tracey M. Derwing. 1995a. Foreign Accent,
Comprehensibility,and Intelligibility in the Speech of Second Language
Learners. Language Learning, 45(1): 73-97. [Found that while intelligibility,
comprehensibility and accentedness were correlated, these correlations were
only moderate.]

Munro, Murray J., Tracey M. Derwing and James E. Flege. 1999. Canadians in
Alabama: A Perceptual Study of Dialect Acquisition in Adults. Journal of
Phonetics, 27: 385-403. [Raters are able to perceive different dialects (as
well as different foreign accents) and rate them using this type of scale.
Dialect ''nativeness'' ratings reflect definable phonetic factors - mainly,
realization of the diphthong /aj/.]

Southwood, M. Helen and James E. Flege. 1999. Scaling Foreign Accent:
Direct Magnitude Estimation versus Interval Scaling. Clinical Linguistics &
Phonetics, 13(5): 335-349. [Found that direct magnitude estimation and
interval scaling give essentially the same results; suggests that Likert
scales of more than 7 points should be used. Most recent studies use 9-point

** [compiled by Jarek Weckwerth]

Anderson-Hsieh, Janet, Ruth Johnson and Kenneth Koehler. 1992. ''The
relationship between native speaker judgments of nonnative pronunciation
and deviance in segmentals, prosody and syllable structure''. Language
Learning 42(4): 529-555.

Anderson-Hsieh, Janet and Kenneth Koehler. 1996. ''The effect of foreign
accent and speaking rate on native speaker comprehension''. Language Learning
38(4): 561-613.

Jarvella, Robert, Eva Bang, Arnt Lykke Jakobsen and Inger Mees. 2001. ''Of
mouths and men: Non-native listeners' identification and evaluation of
varieties of English''. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 11(1):

Major, Roy, Susan Fitzmaurice, Ferenc Bunta and Chandrika Balasubramanian.
2002. ''The effects of nonnative accents on listening comprehension:
Implications for ESL assessment''. TESOL Quarterly 36(2): 173-190.

Neufeld, Gerald. 1996. ''Phonological asymmetry in second-language learning
and performance''. Langauge Learning 38(4): 531-560.

Bayard, Donn, Ann Weatherall, Cynthia Gallois and Jeffery Pittam. 2001.
''Pax Americana? Accent attitudinal evaluations in New Zealand, Australia
and America''. Journal of Sociolinguistics 5(1): 22-49.

Recommended books:

- Targeting Pronunciation, by Sue Miller (Houghton Mifflin)
This book includes instruments to assess student pronunciation.

- Niedzielski, Nancy and Dennis Preston. 1999. Folk linguistics. Berlin:
Mouton de Gruyter.

Recommended websites:

- Pronunciation / comprehension rating scales (not specific, but
interesting reference)


- Results of Bayard's et al Accent attitudinal evaluations

Other resources:

From Jarek Weckwerth:
''...The two classical studies in the field are Lambert et al.
(1960) and Giles (1970)''

''...Other fundamental sources include Ryan and Giles (1982), Giles and
Powesland (1975), and Preston (1999b), all cited by Kathryn
Campbell-Kibler'' (see above)

From Paul Edmunds:
''...a chapter by Schiavetti (1992) in Kent's (editor) ''Intelligibility in
Speech Disorders'' - it's the first chapter of the book. Schiavetti talks
about a lot of different ways to measure intelligibility''

Thanks again to everyone who contributed to this compilation.


Roberto Perez

LL Issue: 17.1776
Date Posted: 13-Jun-2006
Original Query: Read original query


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