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Is Standard Dutch with a regional accent standard or not? Evidence from native speakers' attitudes

  • Stefan Grondelaers (a1) and Roeland van Hout (a1)

This paper reports a speaker evaluation experiment that investigated the competition between three regional accents of Standard Dutch and references to the speaker's profession as determinants of attitude formation. A stratified sample of listener-judges rated speech stimuli that were presented in two guises, a neutral guise and a teacher guise (the latter containing multiple references that revealed the speaker to be a high school teacher of Dutch). The experimental findings corroborate our earlier claim that regional flavoring is embedded in lay conceptualizations of Standard Dutch. Although teachers of Dutch may be the last “gatekeepers” of the standard in the Low Countries, they are not automatically downgraded when they have a regional accent: What matters is, clearly, which accent they have. Analysis of the ratings further suggests a hierarchical relation between accent and occupation as perception triggers: Even though regional accent clearly is the stronger attitude determinant, it does not suppress occupational information but interacts with it to generate richer social meaning.

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Language Variation and Change
  • ISSN: 0954-3945
  • EISSN: 1469-8021
  • URL: /core/journals/language-variation-and-change
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