Publication details [#62433]

Mirshahidi, Shahriar. 2017. I find you attractive but I don’t trust you: the case of language attitudes in Iran. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 38 (2) : 146–159.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher


Although Article 15 of the Iranian constitution supports non-Persian Languages, speakers of these minority languages are latently compelled to speak Persian, the majority language, in most social settings. Consequently, these Iranian L2 speakers of Persian give rise to certain attitudes towards their accented speech, especially from speakers of the standard variety. This inquiry explored these underresearched attitudes about accented Persian. Employing the verbal-guise technique, participants born and raised in Tehran (where the standard variety is spoken) were interviewed to express their attitudes towards five identical-in-content guises (from different L1s covering Arabic, Gilaki, Azeri Turkic, Mazandarani, and Kurdish). The results disclosed that the less the Tehrani interviewees were able to identify an accent, the more they associated the speakers of that accent with positive traits. Furthermore, most of the assessments related the accented speakers to lower social and education levels. Overall, Gilaki and Azeri Turkic were associated with negative attributes, whereas Arabic and Kurdish elicited positive attitudes.