Honors Theses

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Modern Languages

First Advisor

Allison Burkette

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

French Ideology of English as a World Language and American Second Language Speakers compares French ideology of American English and French ideology of the American accent in French to investigate if the two correlate. The study seeks to answer the question: Is ideology linked to the speech community represented or is it linked to the language forms themselves? The study includes a literature review of previously published studies on the subjects of French ideology of English as a World Language, the competition between French and English as a lingua franca, French perceptions of second language speakers, and the American accent in French and its reception. The study then analyzes its own research in France, where respondents were given a matched guise test with different levels of the American accent in French recorded to determine if there are any perceived personality traits that are associated with linguistic aptitude. An English recording was also included. The findings showed that English was rated the highest in all categories. Otherwise, there was a general trend in recordings' phonetic similarity to standard French correlating with positive perceptions of the speaker's personality traits. There were some exceptions, including the exaggerated American accent, which was rated lowest in all personality categories except charming and attractive categories, where it was rated the highest. This demonstrates that there is another factor that has caused the strongest accent to bump up in personality perception. The researcher proposes that perceived effort must contribute to the change in trends for the exaggerated American accent. The study concludes by suggesting that there are three potential factors that help shape French perceptions of second language speech: linguistic aptitude, perceived effort, and speech community represented by the accent.

Included in

Linguistics Commons

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