This matched-guise study investigates not only the perceptions of Spanish-accented English, but also of Lexically Specific Phonology Switches (LSPS) on loanwords of Spanish origin (e.g., taco) within a larger, English-phonology utterance. Listeners rated guises, along with control guises with English phonology throughout, for character traits and also answered open-ended questions about the appearance and activities of the guise speakers. The results show that both the LSPS guise and the fully Spanish-accented guise were rated as more easygoing and masculine than the English phonology guise. Additionally, the open-ended questions reveal a differentially racialized picture for the guises, suggesting that having access to and command of both Spanish and English phonologies may not be as stigmatized as Spanish-accented English; however, this does not preclude those who do perform a Spanish LSPS in American English from being the object of racial and cultural profiling.
Perceptions of Lexically Specific Phonology Switches on Spanish-Origin Loanwords in American English
brandon o. baird is assistant professor of Spanish and linguistics at Middlebury College. His current research focuses on the phonetic outcomes of bilingual speech and their sociolinguistic perceptions, particularly among Spanish-English bilinguals in the United States and Spanish-Mayan bilinguals in Guatemala. E-mail: email@example.com.
marcos rohena-madrazo is assistant professor of Spanish and linguistics at Middlebury College. His research focuses on the production and perception of sociophonetic variation in Spanish, both in terms of how phonological categories are organized in the minds of Spanish speakers, as well as how these Spanish speakers are evaluated and portrayed by others. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
caroline cating is a recent graduate of Middlebury College, where she studied linguistics and collaborated on sociolinguistic research in addition to pursuing independent linguistic research. Currently she is pursuing opportunities in interpretation and teaching English abroad. E-mail: email@example.com.
Brandon O. Baird, Marcos Rohena-Madrazo, Caroline Cating; Perceptions of Lexically Specific Phonology Switches on Spanish-Origin Loanwords in American English. American Speech 1 February 2018; 93 (1): 79–107. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-6904043
Download citation file: