This article deals with the selection of speakers for a Matched-Guise Technique to be conducted in Sardinia, with the final aim of studying attitudes towards Sardinian and Italian. Speakers who could validly represent the two main varieties of Sardinian – Campidanese and Logudorese – and the variety of Italian typically spoken in Sardinia were sought after. Following mainly Newman et al. (2008) and Nejjari et al. (2019), twenty candidates produced a reading in Sardinian (either in Campidanese or in Logudorese) and in Italian: the nativeness of their Sardinian voices and the accentedness (or typicalness) of their Italian voices were evaluated by sixty non-linguists with bilingual competence in Sardinian and Italian. Seven candidates out of twenty were perceived as not native or typical enough to be accepted as “matched guises”. This demonstrates that the selection of appropriate guises should not rely only on the judgment of researchers, but it should also rely on the perceptions of linguistically naïve evaluators, especially when speakers of minority languages in which literacy is normally not acquired are asked to read aloud a text. Nevertheless, the procedure carried out in this study allowed us to identify speakers with the required level of nativeness while speaking Sardinian (Logudorese or Campidanese) and with the required level of typicalness while speaking Italian. Moreover, it has been found that male candidates were perceived as having a more pronounced regional accent than female candidates when speaking Italian; and Logudorese candidates reached higher peak scores than Campidanese candidates, especially when they got judged on the nativeness of their Sardinian voices. Even regardless of the specific outcomes though, the procedure described in this article provides a helpful contribution for the selection of speakers in matched-guise experiments to be conducted in contexts where a national majority language and an unstandardised minority language are involved.

Speakers selection for a matched-guise technique in Sardinia: how to appropriately select valid representatives of Sardinian and Italian

Mura, Piergiorgio
2021

Abstract

This article deals with the selection of speakers for a Matched-Guise Technique to be conducted in Sardinia, with the final aim of studying attitudes towards Sardinian and Italian. Speakers who could validly represent the two main varieties of Sardinian – Campidanese and Logudorese – and the variety of Italian typically spoken in Sardinia were sought after. Following mainly Newman et al. (2008) and Nejjari et al. (2019), twenty candidates produced a reading in Sardinian (either in Campidanese or in Logudorese) and in Italian: the nativeness of their Sardinian voices and the accentedness (or typicalness) of their Italian voices were evaluated by sixty non-linguists with bilingual competence in Sardinian and Italian. Seven candidates out of twenty were perceived as not native or typical enough to be accepted as “matched guises”. This demonstrates that the selection of appropriate guises should not rely only on the judgment of researchers, but it should also rely on the perceptions of linguistically naïve evaluators, especially when speakers of minority languages in which literacy is normally not acquired are asked to read aloud a text. Nevertheless, the procedure carried out in this study allowed us to identify speakers with the required level of nativeness while speaking Sardinian (Logudorese or Campidanese) and with the required level of typicalness while speaking Italian. Moreover, it has been found that male candidates were perceived as having a more pronounced regional accent than female candidates when speaking Italian; and Logudorese candidates reached higher peak scores than Campidanese candidates, especially when they got judged on the nativeness of their Sardinian voices. Even regardless of the specific outcomes though, the procedure described in this article provides a helpful contribution for the selection of speakers in matched-guise experiments to be conducted in contexts where a national majority language and an unstandardised minority language are involved.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5005182
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