Figuring Out Who’s Who: The Role of Social Categorization in the Language Attitudes Process

Marko Dragojevic, Christofer Berglund, Timothy K. Blauvelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This study examined the role of social categorization in the language attitudes process. Participants (N = 1,915) from three ethnolinguistic groups residing in the republic of Georgia—Georgians, Armenians, and Azerbaijanis—listened to a speaker reading a text in a Tbilisi-accented (standard variety) and a Mingrelian-accented (nonstandard variety) Georgian guise. We predicted that the three groups would vary in their ability to correctly categorize the two guises and that this intergroup variation in categorization accuracy would result in intergroup variation in language attitudes. These hypotheses were supported. Georgians were more accurate than Armenians and Azerbaijanis in their categorization of both guises. The Tbilisi-accented (Mingrelian-accented) guise was evaluated more (less) favorably when categorized correctly than when miscategorized. This resulted in intergroup variation in language attitudes: Overall, Georgians evaluated the Tbilisi-accented (Mingrelian-accented) guise more (less) favorably than Armenians and Azerbaijanis, due in part to Georgians’ higher categorization accuracy of both guises.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-50
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Language and Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.


  • accent
  • categorization accuracy
  • intergroup
  • language attitudes
  • social categorization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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