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Accent and Identity in Learner Varieties of English

A Study with German and French University Students in an English as a Lingua Franca Setting

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Stefanie Rottschäfer

This mixed-methods study investigates the link between accent and identity in an English as a lingua franca setting. The subjects, German and French university students living in Scandinavia, pursue their study programmes and every-day lives in English. A quantitative speech data analysis of eight phonetic features describes the speakers’ accents, while a qualitative analysis of introspective interview data exhibits how they differ in terms of identity. The results provide an in-depth understanding of individuals using English as a lingua franca. Do the German and French speakers of English alter or keep their foreign accents in order to express identity in the seemingly neutral Scandinavian setting?

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