Evaluation of speakers with foreign-accented speech in Japan: the effect of accent produced by English native speakers
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Foreign-accented speakers are generally regarded as less educated, less reliable and less interesting than native speakers and tend to be associated with cultural stereotypes of their country of origin. This discrimination against foreign accents has, however, been discussed mainly using accented English in English-speaking countries. This study investigates the attitudes of Japanese people towards foreign-accented Japanese and their difference depending on the area of their residency, which will provide a valuable comparison to previous studies on the attitude towards foreign accent. Two groups of participants, one living in a metropolitan area and the other in a rural area, listened to a short Japanese passage spoken by Japanese native speakers and non-native (native English) speakers, and evaluated what they thought of each speaker's likely personality, job and social status. The participants rated native speakers higher than non-native speakers in Competence and Integrity, and rated both types of speakers equally only in Social attractiveness. The results reveal that despite some admiration of and respect for western culture in Japanese society, when their judgement is based on auditory speech, Japanese participants evaluate fluent native speakers of Japanese more favourably than foreign-accented speakers.
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
© 2012 Taylor & Francis. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.
Language Studies not elsewhere classified
Language, Communication and Culture not elsewhere classified