Swedish is beautiful, Danish is ugly? Investigating the link between language attitudes and intelligibility

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the hypothesis that attitudes towards a linguistic variety and intelligibility of that variety are linked. This is done by eliciting language attitudes and word recognition scores in 154 Danish and Swedish schoolchildren and adolescents between 7 and 16 years. Language attitudes towards the neighboring language are elicited by means of a matched-guise experiment while word recognition is tested by auditorily presenting the participants with 50 spoken stimuli in their neighboring language (Danish for Swedish children and vice versa) in a picture-pointing task. Results revealed that while Danish children held more positive attitudes towards Swedish than vice versa and their word recognition scores were generally higher than those of their Swedish peers, the correlation between these two variables is very low, indicating that the two variables are only loosely linked.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)275-304
    Number of pages29
    JournalLinguistics
    Volume53
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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