Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

The power of language regard - discrimination, classification, comprehension, and production

Dennis R. Preston


This paper looks at beliefs about and attitudes towards language (or “language regard”) as such factors interact with not only language production, the common investigative area of sociolinguistics but also with language attention, discrimination, noticing, attribution, group assignment, and even processing and comprehension. This paper first reviews the cognitive underpinnings of such processes and then goes on to examine a number of empirical studies that confirm the importance of language regard to several areas of perception, comprehension, and classification. It further suggests that these influences are central to a better understanding of general problems of variation and change.

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