Numerous sociolinguistic studies in various cultures have proven the existence of social attitudes based entirely on a person's speech style. This research seeks to determine what attitudes are held toward L2 learners of either Spanish or English in the United States. More specifically, it analyzes the perceptions of beginning Spanish students toward speakers who not only use language variation, but also speak with varying degrees of foreign accents. The method employed to gather data is Wallace Lambert's matched-guise technique, which has been widely used to compare perceptions of various languages, dialects and accents. Through use of the matched-guise technique and a Likert scale measuring bipolar adjectives, the data illustrates definite social attitudes. Also considered in the study are variables such as the listeners' gender and speakers' tonal qualities as influencing factors on the listeners' linguistic attitudes toward each speaker. The goal of the study is not only to confirm the existence of such linguistic attitudes, but to consider the extent of which informants' participation in L2 education affects their judgment.
Selected Proceedings of the First Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics
edited by Lotfi Sayahi
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