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Swedish students and dialects/accents of American English: Do Swedish students recognize various American English dialects/accents?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

This study, of perceptual dialectology, has looked at Swedish students’ knowledge of American English dialects/accents. The study used edited YouTube™ clips of stand-up comedians with characteristic regional dialects/accents from Atlanta, Boston, New York, Chicago and London together with a questionnaire. Swedish students from Stockholm University and high school students from Gångsätra Gymnasium participated in the experiment by watching the retrieved YouTube™ clips and answering the questionnaire to see how much knowledge of American English dialects/accents they had. The study found that Swedish students can, with a 90% level of accuracy, place a characteristic Southern dialect/accent and, with a 60% level of accuracy place a characteristic North Eastern dialect/accent, combining New York and Boston. The North Eastern dialect/accent that appeared easiest to place was New York, with a 50% level of accuracy. Because of its lack of heavy inflections and close resemblance to General American (GA) the Chicago dialect/accent was difficult for Swedes to place, as well as for a group of Americans used as a point of reference in the study. The study also showed that Swedish students indeed can distinguish between an American dialect/accent and other varieties of English, in this study a British English dialect/accent, with an almost 90% level of accuracy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 19 p.
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-35155OAI: diva2:286549
2010-01-13, E387, SU, Stockholm, 10:05 (English)
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2010-02-10 Created: 2010-01-14 Last updated: 2010-02-10Bibliographically approved

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