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ERIC Number: ED100174
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Death of a Prestige Form, or the Social Stratification of /R/ in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Crane, L. Ben
A study was conducted to explore the relationship of the pronunciation of /r/ to social class and age in the speech of whites in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Tape-recorded interviews were conducted with a sample of informants representing a cross-section of ages and social classes in the city. Conversation was elicited on a number of topics of common interest to assure the informality of the speech samples collected. Education, occupation and income were considered in determining social rank. Three age groups were formed, using 22 and 61 as the upper limits for the young and middle groups. The youngest informant was 8, and the oldest 86. The following were among the results of the analyses: (1) stratification of /r/ is exhibited both by class and by age; (2) if /r/ following a stressed mid-central vowel, /r/ following a low-mid back vowel and /r/ in unaccented syllables are analyzed separately, each shows stratification by class and age, except the low-mid back vowel in the 23+ age group; (3) even though all age groups of lower class informants have more full /r/ constriction than any other social classes, all are seen to be moving toward full /r/ constriction as their norm, as can be seen in the large percentage of full /r/ constriction exhibited by the 22- informants in all social classes. (KM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A