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5–9-year-olds categorisation of regional accents: The role of exposure to variation

Jeffries, Ella (2022) '5–9-year-olds categorisation of regional accents: The role of exposure to variation.' Lingua, 267. p. 103189. ISSN 0024-3841

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This study investigates primary school children’s ability to categorise speakers based on regional accent variables found in the UK. Thirty-three children (5;7–9;9) in York took part in a task in which they were asked to group speakers according to whether they sounded as though they came from the same place. Results showed that children were much more accurate at grouping together different speakers according to a Yorkshire/Standard Southern British English accent distinction, rather than a Yorkshire/Scottish or a Yorkshire/North East accent distinction. The distinctiveness and the familiarity of the Standard Southern British English accent features can account for this finding. Furthermore, the children’s general exposure to variation was found to predict their accuracy in the task; children with more exposure to regional variation performed better when grouping speakers based on their pronunciation of the same phoneme embedded within the same word. Building on the results of a previous study with preschool children, these results are discussed in line with an exemplar model of indexical learning.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Children’s sociolinguistic development; Accent perception; Regional variation
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2021 14:15
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2022 12:48

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