“Not from a ‘Danish’ home; typical of trying to sound ‘tough’”: Indexical meanings of variation in /s/ and /t/ in the speech of adolescent girls in Copenhagen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

The aim of this article is to examine the social meaning of /s/- and /t/-variation for Copenhagen girls in two different registers. The examined features consist of [s] and [tˢ], which are considered the standard variants, and [s+] and [tʲ] which carry different social connotations. Both variables are examined in the registers modern Copenhagen speech and street language in two different matched guise experiments. Stimuli for both experiments consist of segmentally manipulated natural speech, and experiment 1 was conducted with open responses, while experiment 2 used fixed scales based on experiment 1. Both experiments show that /s/-variation has little to no effect in both registers. This is surprising because [s+] is commonly perceived to index femininity and to be an integrated part of the street register. For/t/-variation, the presence of [tʲ] significantly indexes non-Danish ethnic background and the Western suburbs of Copenhagen, which are traditionally associated with the working class and mixed ethnic backgrounds. Finally, there are significant effects of prosodic frames alone. These link modern Copenhagen speech to intelligence and the Northern suburbs of Copenhagen, which traditionally denote upper middle class, and street language to non-Danish ethnic background, the Western suburbs of Copenhagen, and playing tough.
TidsskriftRevista de Estudos da Linguagem
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)1701-1736
StatusUdgivet - 11 okt. 2019

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