To examine the social evaluations of place-name variation, a matched-guise study was created by digitally manipulating audio clips from a map task with four bilingual and four monolingual Austinites, varying only in place-name pronunciation: English or Spanish phonology for Spanish place-names; established local or newcomer nonlocal for English place-names. Based on 126 Austinite/Austin-resident listeners, mixed effects linear regression models and qualitative comments found that listeners uniformly perceived English place-name variation only in terms of localness, while Spanish variation indexed several social meanings that varied by listener/speaker demographics, particularly listener ethnicity (i.e., non-Hispanic listeners evaluated Spanish phonology as nonlocal while Hispanic listeners considered both English and Spanish phonology local). I contend (i) not all listeners perceive the same indexical fields, but rather partially overlapping fields; (ii) differing perceptions of Spanish place-names reveal underlying monoglossic ideologies in the U.S.; (iii) place-name variation is a rich site of indexical information for the construction of place identity, particularly in bilingual regions.

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