The role of exposure to Spanish-accented Catalan in the perception of accentedness by Catalan-Spanish bilingual listeners
Research on perception of accentedness has so far focused on specific phonetic elements and language experience, including both exposure and use, but in this study we analyze the role of exposure to non-native accent as an isolated factor on the perception of overall accentedness. Here 17 Catalan-dominant bilingual adults from the conurbation of Barcelona rated the accentedness of 82 speech samples produced by speakers born and raised in the Catalan-Spanish bilingual setting of Barcelona. A modified version of the Bilingual Language Profile (Birdsong et al., 2012) was used to determine language dominance, while a newly created Accent Exposure Questionnaire was used to assess the exposure to four levels of Spanishaccented Catalan in different contexts. Correlation tests showed a weak, nonsignificant, negative relationship between exposure to Spanish-accented Catalan and the perception of accentedness subtleties in the speech as measured by a more diverse use of all the items in the rating scale (r = -.215, p = .424), being the exposure to strongly-accented speech important in such relationship. Overall perception of accentedness also showed a slight, negative relationship with exposure to Spanish-accented Catalan at a non-significant level (r = -.152, p = .573). Degree of language dominance was found to be strongly correlated with amount of exposure to Spanish-accented Catalan at a significant level (r = -.523, p = .038).