Do Americans Sound Smarter? The Effect of Accent on the Evaluation of Speakers’ Identities

Dalal S. Almubayei, Hanan Taqi


This paper explored whether accent as a single facet of a speaker’s identity is the determining rationale behind evaluating someone’s personal and national identity. Two auditory clips were recorded by a single speaker: one in General American and one in Kuwaiti accented English. It was distributed alongside a survey to both male and female English major students in two governmental colleges in Kuwait. The survey implemented Osgood’s semantic differential scale and Lambert’s matched guise and results were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The results revealed the significant superiority of inner circle English varieties over outer circle varieties with a twist, where many students had favorable attitudes towards the local accented English expressing some national pride.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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