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A NOTE ON VOICE AND RACIAL CATEGORIZATION IN BRITAIN

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Abstract:

The only published studies of voice and racial categorization in Britain have been interpreted as indicating that, within a generation of settlement, West Indians converge on local British accent norms enough to become, to all intents and purposes, linguistically indistinguishable from native White speakers. However, reanalysis of the available data shows that, as far as sample sizes permit conclusions at all, the Black speakers are recognized as Black significantly more than White speakers are falsely categorized as Black, so that claims of complete linguistic assimilation are not supported. Furthermore, the design of the experiments concerned makes it likely that listeners' expectations regarding the proportions of West Indians among the sets of speakers to be heard caused the detectability of Black speakers to be underestimated.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1982.10.2.245

Publication date: January 1, 1982

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