Native Danish listeners’ evaluation of English accents


  • Steffen Graversen Vesterlund Aarhus University
  • Ocke-Schwen Bohn Aarhus University



This paper examines native Danish listeners' attitudes towards five native English accents and some of the factors which are likely to influence listeners' evaluations. Forty-seven native Danish listeners participated in a verbal guise test in which they rated samples from five English varieties on status/competence (the power dimension), solidarity and voice quality dimensions, and had to guess the speaker's origin: Standard Southern British English (SSBE), General American (GA), Australian English (AUS), Scottish English (SCO), and Southern US English (SUS). Additionally, the listeners stated their accent preference and responded to questions regarding their English media consumption. The standard varieties SSBE and GA were rated highly on the power dimension, but downgraded on solidarity. The varieties AUS, SCO, and SUS were rated more positively on solidarity, but downgraded on power. SUS was correctly identified most frequently, followed by SSBE and GA, while the listeners had problems identifying SCO and AUS correctly. Accent preference and English media consumption were related to some of the individual traits, and the listeners' ability to identify GA correctly was related to their English media consumption. Overall, the present results suggest that future studies should examine the influence of media consumption on attitudes towards accents in greater detail.






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