LINGUIST List 24.4401

Tue Nov 05 2013

Calls: Cognitive Science, Socioling, Phonology, Language Acquisition/Poland

Editor for this issue: Bryn Hauk <>

Date: 05-Nov-2013
From: Gitte Kristiansen <>
Subject: Perception of Non-Native Varieties
E-mail this message to a friend

Full Title: Perception of Non-Native Varieties
Date: 11-Sep-2014 - 14-Sep-2014 Location: Poznań, Poland Contact Person: Gitte Kristiansen
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Language Acquisition; Phonology; Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 20-Nov-2013

Meeting Description:

47th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea
September 11-14 2014
Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland

Theme Session Title: The Perception of Non-Native Varieties: Methods and Findings in Perceptual Dialectology


Gitte Kristiansen (Universidad Complutense de Madrid):


We know from previous research that L1 recognition is surprisingly fast (Purnell et al. 1999), surprisingly accurate (Van Bezooijen and Gooskens 1999) and that it is an early acquisition, which evolves gradually and experientially (Kristiansen 2010). Listeners thus gradually construct mental representations to identify native varieties and foreign languages. At the same time, linguistic varieties trigger attitudinal reactions. Accents are socially diagnostic and serve as effective cognitive shortcuts to identification (where is this speaker from?) and characterization (what is this speaker like?).

In more technical terms, accents are socially diagnostic because linguistic stereotypes, i.e. sets of abstract linguistic schemata composed of a cluster of salient features, gradually emerge to capture the essence of what a group speaks like. In this sense of the words, social and linguistic stereotypes, rather than distorted images, constitute useful cognitive reference points that emerge to allow us to navigate fast and efficiently in a complex social world.

Ever since Lambert et al. (1960) published their pioneering article on speech evaluation methods, numerous studies have investigated the (conscious or unconscious) attitudes triggered by L1 varieties (e.g. Chambers and Trudgill 1998, Preston 2011, Grondelaers and van Hout 2010, Kristiansen 2010). Numerous studies thus exist on L1 perception, but L2 identification and characterization is still severely understudied. Given the role of English as a Lingua Franca in an increasingly globalised world, focus in this theme session is on the (attitudinal and identificational) perception of non-native accents of English. At the same time, given the empirical nature of the theoretical questions that we address, the scope is by no means limited to situations in which (a variety of) English constitutes the L2 language.

Call for Papers:

Submission deadline: November 20, 2013

This theme session welcomes proposals that address issues related to the study of the perception of non-native varieties such as the following:

Research Questions:

(i) Which are the most novel and efficient ways of controlling speaker-related characteristics?
- How do we best keep voice quality, speech rate and clarity and other factors under control?
- How do we measure and keep speaker´s L1 variety constant while measuring L2 performances?

(ii) Which are the current intricacies of speech-related factors and what are the methodological challenges?
- How do we best measure levels of L1 and L2 accentedness and against which standards? How can the (regional) distances of L1 and L2 accentedness be objectively measured?
- How do we keep speaker-related factors apart from speech-related factors?
- In attitudinal research, to what extent are the attitudes measured related to the speaker, to the social group related to the speaker, or to the L1 accent or the L2 accent of the speaker? How can regional aspects of L1 and L2 accents be kept under control from the point of view of attitudinal research?

(iii) How can we best tease apart the numerous mixed effects of the multiple variables involved in the scenario of L2 and L1 accentedness?
- From the point of view of advanced corpus-based techniques, to what extent can multifactorial analyses help control the numerous variables involved?
- Ingenious methods have been developed in the past to deal with the identification and attitudes of native perceptions. Which new methods are being developed to deal specifically with non-native dimensions?

Abstract Submission:

Submit a short abstract (max. 300 words including references) in .doc or .docx format to the convenors before November 20, 2013. Briefly indicate the relevant research question(s) addressed and describe the proposed methodology in detail.

Acceptance to the theme session will be notified by November 25, 2013

Full versions of accepted abstracts (500 words + references) must be submitted to SLE before January 15, 2014. Notification of acceptance to SLE: March 31, 2014.


Berthele, Raphael (2012) Multiple languages and multiple methods: Qualitative and quantitative ways of tapping into the multilingual repertoire. Methods in Contemporary Linguistics 195-218.

Chambers, Jack, K. and Peter Trudgill (1998) Dialectology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Grondelaers, Stefan and Roeland van Hout (2010). Do speech evaluation scales in a speaker evaluation experiment trigger conscious or unconscious attitudes? University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics vol. 16 (2): 12. Selected paper from New Ways of Analysing Variation 38.

Kristiansen, Gitte (2010) Lectal acquisition and linguistic stereotype formation. In Dirk Geeraerts, Gitte Kristiansen and Yves Peirsman (eds.) Advances in Cognitive Sociolinguistics, 225-263. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Kristiansen, Gitte (2003) How to do things with allophones: Linguistic stereotypes as cognitive reference points in social cognition. In René Dirven, Roslyn M. Frank and Martin Pütz (eds.) Cognitive Models in Language and Thought, 69-120. CLR 24. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Kristiansen, Tore (2010) Conscious and subconscious attitudes towards English influence in the Nordic countries: evidence for two levels of language ideology. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 204: 59–95.

Lambert, Wallace E., Richard C. Hodgson, Robert C. Gardner and Stanley Fillenbaum (1960) Evaluative reactions to spoken languages. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 66: 44-51.

Nejjari, W., Gerritsen, M., Haagen. M. van der, & Korzilius, H. (2012). Responses to Dutch-accented English. World Englishes 31, 2: 248-268.

Preston, Dennis (2011) The power of language regard – discrimination, classification, comprehension and production. Dialectologia. Special Issue, ed. by John Nerbonne, Stefan Grondelaers and Dirk Speelman.

Purnell, Thomas, William J. Idsardi and John Baugh (1999) Perceptual and phonetic experiments on American English dialect identification. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 18: 10-30.

Speelman, Dirk, Adriaan Spruyt, Leen Impe and Dirk Geeraerts (2013). Language attitudes revisited. Auditory affective priming. Journal of Pragmatics 52: 83-92.

Van Bezooijen, Renée and Charlotte Gooskens (1999) Identification of language varieties. The contribution of different linguistic levels. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 18 (1): 31-48.

Watson, Kevin and Clark, Lynn (2011) Capturing listeners' real-time reactions to local and supralocal linguistic features. Chester, UK: Variation and Language Processing Conference, 11-13 Apr 2011.

Page Updated: 05-Nov-2013