The Role of Linguistic Feature Types in Dialect Stereotyping


  • Sandra Clarke Memorial University of Newfoundland


The matched-guise technique and its derivatives have been used extensively as a means of discovering dialect stereotypes held byparticular speech communities. Little attention has been paid, however, to the precise nature of the linguistic variables on the basis of which attitudinal evaluations are elicited in such studies. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that speaker evaluations are in fact differentially affected by the particular type of linguistic feature (phonological, morpho-syntactic or lexical) incorporated in taped matched-guise samples. Moreover, although linguistic feature type appears to play a significant role in attitudinal judgments, subjects of different social and linguistic backgrounds may differ significantly in their evaluations of taped samples involving phonological, grammatical or lexical non-standardisms. Such findings have obvious implications for the methodology employed in language attitude studies, and suggest in particular that greater control must be exercised over the selection of linguistic features used to represent dialect types. 1



How to Cite

Clarke, S. (1985). The Role of Linguistic Feature Types in Dialect Stereotyping. Papers from the Annual Meetings of the Atlantic Provinces Linguistic Association (PAMAPLA) ACTES DES COLLOQUES ANNUELS DE L’ASSOCIATION DE LINGUISTIQUE DES PROVINCES ATLANTIQUES (ACAALPA)., 8, 19–32. Retrieved from

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