Linguistic research focusing on evaluations of speech style has traditionally considered social variables, acoustic parameters, and listeners’ ability to identify speakers accurately. However, few studies examine how such evaluation of speech relies on socially meaningful and available discourses of differentiation. This article explores how listeners construct discursive evaluations of a set of speech samples, one of which is consistently constructed as problematic. Discourse analysis highlights how language ideologies intertwine with articulated reasons for identification of the “other”. This methodological approach expands the social contexts usually considered in an analysis of speech evaluation, problematizing linguistic notions of social relations and context. Implications for applied linguistic research on social identification of speakers based upon their speech style has particular relevance to educational research and practice.
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