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The (randomly) selected focus publication for April 2018 is:

Carrie, E., & McKenzie, R. M. (2018) American or British? L2 speakers’ recognition and evaluations of accent features of EnglishJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 39(4), 313-328.


Recent language attitude research has attended to the processes involved in identifying and evaluating spoken language varieties. This article investigates the ability of second-language learners of English in Spain (N = 71) to identify Received Pronunciation (RP) and General American (GenAm) speech and their perceptions of linguistic variation between these speech varieties. Data were gathered using a verbal-guise experiment in which respondents identified speakers’ places of origin and stated the reasons for their categorisations. Quantitative data analysis demonstrated high recognition rates for RP speakers, more often correctly identified than GenAm speakers. Qualitative data analysis showed that respondents’ knowledge of phonological variation informed the identification process and they often stated which linguistic features formed part of their mental representations of RP and GenAm. Additional resources informed accent recognition, including perceived linguistic quality, intelligibility, familiarity, and cultural associations. Patterns of misidentification revealed that, when GenAm was inaccurately identified as RP, it was ascribed high status. The findings provide an insight into the strategies, conceptual frameworks, and linguistic features which inform the accent identification process as performed by English-language learners in Spain. The results also highlight the usefulness of variety recognition items in interpreting attitudinal evaluations, especially with regard to patterns of misidentification.


Posted by & filed under Member Opportunities.

Frontiers in Psychology will be publishing a Special Issue on “Why People Gossip and What it Brings About: Motives for, and Consequences of, Informal Evaluative Information Exchange.”

The call for papers is available at

The deadline for abstract submissions is August 24, 2018, and full paper submissions will be due on Nov 23, 2018. Submissions can be uploaded via

Guest Editors:
Myriam Bechtoldt ( ), EBS University of Business and Law; Bianca Beersma ( ), VU University Amsterdam; Maria Dijkstra, ( ), VU University Amsterdam

The guest editors of this special issue can answer any questions and can be contacted directly at the email addresses above.

Posted by & filed under Member Publications.

The (randomly) selected focus publication for February/March 2018 is:

Vincze, L., Gasiorek, J., & Dragojevic, M. (2017). Little chance for divergence: The role of interlocutor language constraint in online bilingual accommodation. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 27(3), 608–620. doi: 10.1111/ijal.12164



Drawing on communication accommodation theory, the present paper explored how affective (i.e. identity related) and cognitive (i.e. comprehension related) motives drive young Swedish‐speaking Finns to use Swedish in online communication when interacting with Finnish speakers. Questionnaire data were collected among Swedish‐speaking secondary school students (N = 124). A Bayesian moderated mediation revealed that the use of Swedish was guided both by cognitive and affective motives. Furthermore, affective motives were stronger predictors of language behaviour in cases where participants did not perceive they were restricted by interlocutors’ competence in Swedish. However, a similar effect was not detected for cognitive motives. Findings and their theoretical implications are discussed with respect to bilingual accommodation.


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The (randomly) selected focus publication for January 2018 is:

Penzel, I. B., Persich, M. R., Boyd, R. L., & Robinson, M. D. (2017). Linguistic evidence for the failure mindset as a predictor of lifespan longevity. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 51(3), 348-355.


Background: When people think that their efforts will fail to achieve positive outcomes, they sometimes give up their efforts after control, which can have negative health consequences.

Purpose: Problematic orientations of this type, such as pessimism, helplessness, or fatalism, seem likely to be associated with a cognitive mindset marked by higher levels of accessibility for failure words or concepts. Thus, the purpose of the present research was to determine whether there are individual differences in the frequency with which people think about failure, which in turn are likely to impact health across large spans of time.

Methods: Following self-regulatory theories of health and the learned helplessness tradition, two archival studies (total n = 197) scored texts (books or speeches) for their use of failure words, a category within the Harvard IV dictionary of the General Inquirer.

Results: People who used failure words more frequently exhibited shorter subsequent life spans, and this relationship remained significant when controlling for birth year. Furthermore, study 2 implicated behavioral factors. For example, the failure/longevity relationship was numerically stronger among people whose causes of death appeared to be preventable rather than non-preventable.

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