Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication
Ed. by Piller, Ingrid
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Attitudinal data from New Zealand, Australia, the USA and UK about each other’s Englishes: Recent changes or consequences of methodologies?
Recent attitudinal research by Bayard et al. (2001) suggested changes in the comparative evaluations of Australian, New Zealand, US and English Englishes, with US English on its way to becoming the preferred variety. We revisit these attitudes after a period of political change in the US, and using a research methodology in line with folklinguistic approaches to attitudes research (e. g. Preston 1996). Convenience samples of respondents in these four countries were asked to identify the countries where they knew English was spoken as a native language, and then quickly to write down their first reactions to those varieties. US English was viewed strikingly negatively in terms of its affective associations, and there were references to ‘excess’ from all respondent groups (e. g. overassertive, overenthusiastic). And, against expectations, the affective profile of English English was not overwhelmingly negative for all groups of respondents. We consider the results in relation to the findings and methods of the earlier studies, and also briefly consider the different statuses of these varieties in terms of the current discussion of late modernity and of different standard varieties (e. g. Kristiansen 2001b) serving different aspects of social life.
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