ISCA Archive Interspeech 2015
ISCA Archive Interspeech 2015

The effect of speakers' regional varieties on listeners' decision-making

Adrian Leemann, Camilla Bernardasci, Francis Nolan

It has been widely reported that speech provides cues to a speaker's regional background. Little is known about how such cues influence human behavior, however. In the present study we used a matched-guise design to test how speakers' regional accents affect listeners' decision-making. In three scenarios, 72 subjects from three regions in Switzerland were asked to choose either the Standard German, Bern, or Zurich German speaker when asked to select a secretary, surgeon, or travel companion. Results revealed that preferences differed depending on the scenario. We further report two results that have not been described before: (1) the Standard accent was least preferred in all scenarios; (2) in-group favoritism seems to apply only partially to the Swiss context: the Zurich variety was the most preferred variety for all listener groups. We discuss implications from the point of view of accent prestige and social identity theory.

doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2015-385

Cite as: Leemann, A., Bernardasci, C., Nolan, F. (2015) The effect of speakers' regional varieties on listeners' decision-making. Proc. Interspeech 2015, 1670-1674, doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2015-385

  author={Adrian Leemann and Camilla Bernardasci and Francis Nolan},
  title={{The effect of speakers' regional varieties on listeners' decision-making}},
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2015},