Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Bessell, N.; Mulhall, E.
Journal of Clinical Speech and Language Studies
What's in an accent? Perceptions of young adult listeners in Cork and Kilkenny
Optional Fields
Accent perception; Irish English; supra-regional Irish English; gender; socio-economic class
Objective: To investigate the perceptions of Irish listeners concerning geographical origin, occupation and socio-economic class, based on speech samples from County Cork; to relate this information to phonetic features of each speakerís accent and recent changes in Irish English. Methods: Recordings of speakers from three locations in County Cork were analyzed for features of supra-regional and advanced Irish English (Hickey, 1998, 2003, 2010). Th ese recordings were played to young adult listeners from counties Cork and Kilkenny. Listeners completed a questionnaire assessing the location, occupation and socio-economic class of each speaker. Th e results of the questionnaire were compared with the phonetic features of the speakers. Main results: Diphthongization of FACE and GOAT vowels, [θ, ū] for TH, GOOSE-fronting and emerging velarised /l/ in syllable fi nal position tilt listener judgements towards non-regional, professional and upper middle class. Cork City listeners are most accurate in terms of locating Cork city speakers. Kilkenny listeners are least accurate in identifying speaker location. Conclusions: Irish English speech varies depending on location and gender. Perceptions of class and occupation are closely tied to gender of speaker and type of phonetic features present. Supra-regional features are increasingly used by young adults in County Cork, and recognized by young adult listeners.
Grant Details