This study explored the relationship between native and nonnative listeners' exposure to Spanish dialect variation and their ratings of perceived degree of foreign accent in Spanish. Listeners heard sentences read by 3 native and 12 nonnative Spanish speakers and used a 9-point scale to rate the degree of foreign accent they perceived in each utterance. Listeners' exposure to different native dialects was measured through self-report, including the total number of different dialects they had been exposed to through travel, friends, and Spanish instructors. The results demonstrated that both native and nonnative listeners with more varied dialect exposure distinguished more in their ratings of native speech and nonnative speech than those with less variable experience. These findings confirm the existence of a relationship between dialect exposure and foreign accent perception, suggesting that linguistic experience shapes both L1 and L2 speech perception in adult listeners.
Selected Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics
edited by Ana M. Carvalho and Sara Beaudrie
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