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The relationship between label-based and speech-based perceptual evaluations: The case of Enshi Mandarin regional varieties

  • Qingyang Yan (a1)

The current study explored the relationship between participants’ label-based evaluations of six regional varieties in Enshi Prefecture, China, and their speech-based evaluations of talkers from these varieties using a label ranking task and a speaker evaluation task. The results revealed that under correct identification of talker dialect, participants’ evaluations of real talkers based on speech samples were different from their evaluations of ‘imagined’ county-based dialects, suggesting that speech-based talker evaluations are not solely governed by ideological values associated with dialects. Focusing on a small, understudied community in China, this study contributes to our understanding of the local language attitudes, and language use and maintenance in Enshi Prefecture. An integrated approach is needed to build a model of talker evaluation, which must include a complex set of linguistic, social cognitive, and situational objects. The current results suggest that the object(s) that primarily drives talker evaluations is not the talker’s dialect itself.

Corresponding author
*Address for Correspondence: Qingyang Yan, Department of Linguistics, 108A Ohio Stadium East, 1961 Tuttle Park Place, Columbus, OH 43210, 240-243-3789,
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