Title: Speaker design in the context of Southern American English : process models and empirical evidence
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2011, vol. 37, iss. 1, pp. -138
ISSN0524-6881 (print)1805-0867 (online)
License: Not specified license
Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.
Current "Speaker Design" approaches to sociolinguistic variation investigate how speakers may pro-actively deploy the linguistic resources (variation) at their disposal to achieve certain communicative effects. In this paper, Speaker Design is investigated in the case of Southern American English, a regional variety that can reportedly be used specifically by women to project personal charm. An interactional as well as a cognitive sociolinguistic account of this process are provided. Furthermore, empirical evidence for its workings is presented. This evidence is derived from a speaker evaluation experiment, whose results are outlined. It is argued that this experiment demonstrates that Southern American English elicits certain social associations in listeners such that women using it sound socially attractive. Female Southern speakers can tap into this effect to contextualize their utterances accordingly, giving rise to communicative effects such as "charming" customers into buying products.