Hostname: page-component-758b78586c-qvhcc Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-11-28T01:21:02.841Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Dialect divergence and convergence in New Zealand English

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 August 2010

Molly Babel
Department of Linguistics, Totem Fields Studios, 2613 West Mall, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaV6T


Recent research has been concerned with whether speech accommodation is an automatic process or determined by social factors (e.g. Trudgill 2008). This paper investigates phonetic accommodation in New Zealand English when speakers of NZE are responding to an Australian talker in a speech production task. NZ participants were randomly assigned to either a Positive or Negative group, where they were either flattered or insulted by the Australian. Overall, the NZE speakers accommodated to the speech of the AuE speaker. The flattery/insult manipulation did not influence degree of accommodation, but accommodation was predicted by participants' scores on an Implicit Association Task that measured Australia and New Zealand biases. Participants who scored with a pro-Australia bias were more likely to accommodate to the speech of the AuE speaker. Social biases about how a participant feels about a speaker predicted the extent of accommodation. These biases are, crucially, simultaneously automatic and social. (Speech accommodation, phonetic convergence, New Zealand English, dialect contact)*

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



Adank, Patti; Smits, Roel; & van Hout, Roeland (2004). A comparison of vowel normalization procedures for language variation research. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 116(3):99107.Google Scholar
Baayen, R. Harald; Piepenbrock, Richard; & van Rijn, H. (1993). The CELEX lexical database (CD-ROM). Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
Babel, Molly (2009). Phonetic and social selectivity in speech accommodation. Berkeley: University of California, Berkeley dissertation.Google Scholar
Bauer, Laurie (2008). A question of identity: A response to Trudgill. Language in Society 37:272–73.Google Scholar
Bauer, Laurie; Warren, Paul; Bardsley, Dianne; Kennedy, Marianna; & Major, George (2007). An illustration of the IPA: New Zealand English. Journal of the International Phonetics Association 37(1):97102.Google Scholar
Bayard, Donn (2000). The cultural cringe revisited: Changes through time in Kiwi attitudes toward accents. In Bell, Allan & Kuiper, Koenraad (eds.), New Zealand English, 297324. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
Bell, Allan (1984). Language style as audience design. Language in Society 13:145204.Google Scholar
Bell, Allan (2001). Back in style: Reworking audience design. In Eckert, Penelope & Rickford, John R. (eds.), Style and sociolinguistic variation, 139–69. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Boersma, Paul, & Weenink, David (2005). Praat: Doing phonetics by computer, version 4.3.29. Online: Scholar
Bourhis, Richard Y., & Giles, Howard (1977). The language of intergroup distinctiveness. In Giles, Howard (ed.), Language, ethnicity, and intergroup relations, 119–36. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Chambers, Jack (1992). Dialect acquisition. Language 68:673705.Google Scholar
Coupland, Nikolaus (1980). Style-shifting in a Cardiff work-setting. Language in Society 9:112.Google Scholar
Coupland, Nikolaus (2007). Style: Language variation and identify. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Coupland, Nikolaus (2008). The delicate constitution of identity in face-to-face accommodation: A response to Trudgill. Language in Society 37:267–70.Google Scholar
Cox, Felicity, & Palethorpe, Sallyanne (2007). An illustration of the IPA: Australian English. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 37:341–50.Google Scholar
Delvaux, Véronique, & Soquet, Alain (2007). The influence of ambient speech on adult speech productions through unintentional imitation. Phonetica 64:145–73.Google Scholar
Dijksterhuis, Ap, & Bargh, John A. (2001). The perception-behavior expressway: Automatic effects of social perception on social behavior. In Zanna, Mark (ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology, vol. 33, 140. San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Easton, Anita, & Bauer, Laurie (2000). An acoustic study of the vowels of New Zealand English. Australian Journal of Linguistics 20(2):93117.Google Scholar
Eckert, Penelope, & Rickford, John R. (2001). Style and sociolinguistic variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Evans, Bronwen G., & Iverson, Paul (2007). Plasticity in vowel perception and production: A study of accent change in young adults. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 121:3814–26.Google Scholar
Giles, Howard (1973). Accent mobility: A model and some data. Anthropological Linguistics 15:87105.Google Scholar
Giles, Howard, & Coupland, Nikolas (1991). Language: Contexts and consequences. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
Giles, Howard; Coupland, Nikolas; & Coupland, Justine (1991). Accommodation theory: Communication, context, and consequence. In Giles, Howard, Coupland, Justine, & Coupland, Nikolas (eds.), Contexts of accommodation, 168. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Goldinger, Stephen D. (1998). Echoes of echoes? An episodic theory of lexical access. Psychological Review 105:251–79.Google Scholar
Goldinger, Stephen D., & Azuma, Tamiko (2004). Episodic memory in printed word naming. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 11:716–22.Google Scholar
Greenwald, Anthony G.; McGhee, Debbie E.; & Schwartz, Jordan L. K. (1998). Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: The implicit association test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 74:1464–80.Google Scholar
Greenwald, Anthony G.; Nosek, Brian A.; & Banaji, Mahzarin R. (2003). Understanding and using the Implicit Association Test: I. An improved scoring algorithm. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 85:197216.Google Scholar
Harrington, Jonathan (2006). An acoustic analysis of ‘happy-tensing’ in the Queen's Christmas broadcasts. Journal of Phonetics 34:439–57.Google Scholar
Harrington, Jonathan (2007). Evidence for a relationship between synchronic variability and diachronic change in the Queen's annual Christmas broadcasts. In Cole, Jennifer & Hualde, José I. (eds.), Laboratory phonology 9: Phonetics and phonology, 125–44. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
Harrington, Jonathan; Palethrope, Sallyanne; & Watson, Catherine I. (2000a). Does the Queen speak the Queen's English? Nature 408:927–28.Google Scholar
Harrington, Jonathan; Palethrope, Sallyanne; & Watson, Catherine I. (2000b.) Monophthongal vowel changes in Received Pronunciation: An acoustic analysis of the Queen's Christmas broadcasts. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 30:6378.Google Scholar
Hay, Jennifer; Nolan, Aaron; & Drager, Katie (2006). From fush to feesh: Exemplar priming in speech perception. The Linguistic Review 23:351–79.Google Scholar
Hay, Jennifer; Warren, Paul; & Drager, Katie (2006). Factors influencing speech perception in the context of a merger-in-progress. Journal of Phonetics 34:458–84.Google Scholar
Holmes, Janet, & Kerswill, Paul (2008). Contact is not enough: A response to Trudgill. Language in Society 37:273–77.Google Scholar
Lobanov, B. (1971) Classification of Russian vowels spoken by different listeners. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 49:606–8.Google Scholar
Maclagan, Margaret, & Hay, Jennifer (2007). Getting fed up with our feet: Contrast maintenance and the New Zealand English “short” front vowel shift. Language Variation and Change 19:125.Google Scholar
Mufwene, Salikoko S. (2008). Colonization, population contacts, and the emergence of new language varieties: A response to Trudgill. Language in Society 37:254–58.Google Scholar
Munro, Murray J.; Derwing, Tracey M.; & Flege, James E. (1999). Canadians in Alabama: A perceptual study of dialect acquisition in adults. Journal of Phonetics 27:385403.Google Scholar
Namy, Laura L.; Nygaard, Lynne C.; & Sauerteig, Denise (2002). Gender differences in vocal accommodation: The role of perception. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 21:422–32.Google Scholar
Nielsen, Kuniko (2008). The specificity of allophonic variability and its implications for accounts of speech perception. Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles dissertation.Google Scholar
Pardo, Jennifer S. (2006). On phonetic convergence during conversational interaction. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 119:2382–93.Google Scholar
Payne, Arvilla C. (1980). Factors controlling the acquisition of the Philadelphia dialect by out-of-state children. In Labov, William (ed.), Locating language in time and space, 179218. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Pickering, Martin J., & Garrod, Simon (2004). Toward a mechanistic psychology of dialogue. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27:169226.Google Scholar
Schneider, Edgar W. (2008). Accommodation versus identity? A response to Trudgill. Language in Society 37:262–67.Google Scholar
Schneider, Walter; Eschman, Amy; & Zuccolotto, Anthony (2007). E-Prime: User's Guide, version 2.0. Psychology Software Tools.Google Scholar
Shepard, Carolyn A.; Giles, Howard; & LePoire, Beth A. (2001). Communication accommodation theory. In Robinson, W. Peter & Giles, Howard (eds.), The new handbook of language and social psychology, 3356. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
Shockley, Kevin; Sabadini, Laura; & Fowler, Carol A. (2004). Imitation in shadowing words. Perception & Psychophysics 66:422–29.Google Scholar
Trudgill, Peter (1981). Linguistic accommodation: Sociolinguistic observations on a sociopsychological theory. In Hendrick, Roberta, Masek, Carrie, & Miller, Mary Frances (eds.), Papers from the Parasession on Language and Behavior, 218–37. Chicago: Chicago Linguistics Society.Google Scholar
Trudgill, Peter (1986). Dialects in contact. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Trudgill, Peter (2008). Colonial dialect contact in the history of European languages: On the irrelevance of identity in new-dialect formation. Language in Society 37:241–80.Google Scholar
Tuten, Donald N. (2008). Identity formation and accommodation: Sequential and simultaneous relations. Language in Society 37:259–62.Google Scholar
Watson, Catherine; Harrington, Jonathan; & Evans, Zoe (1998). An acoustic comparison between New Zealand and Australian English vowels. Australian Journal of Linguistics 18:185207.Google Scholar
Wells, J. C. (1982). Accents of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar