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Conceptual accent evaluation: thirty years of accent prejudice in the UK

Bishop, H., Coupland, Nikolas John Robert and Garrett, Peter Donald 2005. Conceptual accent evaluation: thirty years of accent prejudice in the UK. Acta Linguistica Hafniensia: International Journal of Linguistics 37 (1) , pp. 131-154. 10.1080/03740463.2005.10416087

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This paper contrasts findings from a new survey of 5010 informants from across the UK, conducted in collaboration with the BBC, with the findings of Giles's (1970) influential study of the social evaluation of some of the major English accents relevant to the UK. Despite differences in the designs of the two studies, this comparison allows us to assess whether any general ideological and sociolinguistic-evaluative shifts have occurred in the intervening period. While some interesting differences emerge, the new findings generally show a remarkable similarity with those of Giles. We argue that the best explanation for this attitudinal consistency lies in processes of social categorisation and varietal labelling themselves, which are ingrained in the ‘conceptual’ approach that both studies have adopted. Conceptual accent evaluation arguably taps into deeply conservative ideologies of language, obscuring socio-psychological shifts over time and contextual effects.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0374-0463
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:30

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