Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2003
9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden MA 02148, USA.
Journal of Sociolinguistics
7/3, 2003: 348±364
Koreans, Chinese or Indians?
Attitudes and ideologies about
non-native English speakers
in the United States
Georgia State University, U.S.A.
Beginning with the ground-breaking work of Lambert and his colleagues
(Lambert 1967; Lambert, Hodgson, Gardner and Fillenbaum 1960), a
number of matched guise and verbal guise studies on language attitudes
have shown that people typically prefer dialects or languages spoken by
historically powerful groups, especially on the grounds of status-related qual-
ities (Berk-Seligson 1984; Lambert et al. 1960) and suitability for higher-status
jobs (Seggie, Smith and Hodgins 1986). Non-native speakers are often eval-
uated negatively on measures of solidarity as well as status, as Ryan and her
colleagues have found for U.S. native English speakers' perception of Spanish-
accented (Ryan, Carranza and Mo²e 1977; Ryan and Sebastian 1980) and
German-accented English (Ryan and Bulik 1982). Other non-native speakers
that U.S. listeners have rated negatively (at least under some study conditions)
include Malaysians (Gill 1994), Chinese (Cargile 1997), and Italians, Norwe-
gians, and Eastern Europeans (Mulac, Hanley and Prigge 1974).
Not all non-native speakers are necessarily stigmatized, however. In a more
recent study by Cargile and Giles (1998), university students in southern
California rated a Japanese speaker with a `moderate accent' in English as
highly on status traits (but not on attractiveness traits) as others rated the same
speaker in a `Standard American' guise. Japanese speakers thus appear to have
relatively high prestige, at least for the students participating in Cargile and
Giles's (1998) study. As those authors point out, a speaker's non-native status is
not the only relevant issue for evaluation of prestige; perceptions of the