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Preschool children's categorization of speakers by regional accent

Jeffries, Ella (2019) 'Preschool children's categorization of speakers by regional accent.' Language Variation and Change, 31 (3). ISSN 0954-3945

LVC Jeffries Pre-schoolers categorisation of regional accents_Prior to edits.pdf - Accepted Version

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This study reports on an experiment with twenty pre-school children (3;1–4;7) in York, UK to investigate the earliest stage of children’s socioperceptual development. The children discriminate between different groups of speakers based on their pronunciation of phonological regional variables diagnostic of the North and South of England. An improvement across the age range uncovers a developmental stage when children are able to interpret variation as socially meaningful. This is comparable with developments in sociolinguistic production during the pre-school years, as previous studies have found. Three measures associated with linguistic input (children's age and gender, local versus non-local parents) have an impact on the children’s performance. The results are interpreted through an exemplar theoretic account, highlighting the role of input and the combined storing and accessing of both linguistic and social information.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper has been accepted for publication and will appear in a revised form, subsequent to editorial input by Cambridge University Press, in Language Variation and Change published by Cambridge University Press. Copyright 2019 Cambridge University Press.
Uncontrolled Keywords: accent, children's perception, variation in acquisition, sociolinguistic development
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2019 08:48
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2020 22:15

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