Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Investigating the role of language attitudes for perception abilities using reaction time

Anja Schüppert, Charlotte Gooskens


Danish and Swedish are mutually intelligible to a certain extent, but it has been shown that adult Danes confronted with spoken Swedish recognise more items than adult Swedes who are confronted with spoken Danish. However, this asymmetry was not confirmed for illiterate Danish and Swedish preschoolers, which suggests that the factors that were controlled for in the study with preschoolers, namely literacy, previous exposure and attitude, cause the asymmetry in mutual intelligibility in adults. In this paper, we investigate what attitudes adults and pre-schoolers hold towards the neighbouring language, and whether there is a relationship between attitudes held towards the neighbouring language and abilities to decode it. Attitude elicitation from 45 Danish-speaking and 39 Swedish-speaking participants revealed that attitudes change with age, but individual reaction time measurements towards 50 auditorily presented cognate nouns in a multiple-choice picture-pointing task showed no significant correlation with individual attitudes.

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