Ethnicity of respondents has not been considered in the cognitive mapping of regional dialects, even though it has been shown to influence spatial perception in other social science fields. In this article, the authors draw on the findings of a cognitive mapping study, based on similar studies by Dennis Preston, that compared the behavior of two ethnolinguistic groups to examine whether linguistic and cultural experiences affect awareness of the Southern United States as a dialect area. They examined identification of the South in the hand-drawn maps of 83 Latinos and 148European Americans. They found that the European American group patterned with previous studies, marking the South in 99% of maps, while the Latino group marked the South in only 59% of maps. An ArcGIS analysis showed that agreement about its location reached over 95% for European Americans but only 80% for Latinos. They argue that Latino dialect awareness is influenced by linguistic socialization, cultural prominence, and social marginalization, which contribute to knowledge of regional variation and linguistic and social stereotypes.
Ethnicity and Perceptual Dialectology: Latino Awareness of U.S. Regional Dialects
Gabriela G. Alfaraz is a sociolinguist whose research interests include language variation and change, language attitudes, language ideologies, bilingualism, Spanish in the United States, and Caribbean Spanish. She is an associate professor in the Department of Romance and Classical Studies at Michigan State University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexander Mason is a Ph.D. student at Michigan State University. In addition to language attitudes and perceptual dialectology, his research interests include syntactic variability, sociophonetics, and language change, especially the changes occurring in the vowel system in Michigan and the Inland North. Email: email@example.com.
Gabriela G. Alfaraz, Alexander Mason; Ethnicity and Perceptual Dialectology: Latino Awareness of U.S. Regional Dialects. American Speech 1 August 2019; 94 (3): 352–379. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-7362228
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