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

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 December 2017

Qingyang Yan*
Affiliation:
Ohio State University
*
*Address for Correspondence: Qingyang Yan, Department of Linguistics, 108A Ohio Stadium East, 1961 Tuttle Park Place, Columbus, OH 43210, 240-243-3789, yan.497@osu.edu

Abstract

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.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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