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ERIC Number: ED527725
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 257
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-8008-1
A Cross Generational Dialect Study in Western North Carolina
Holt, Yolanda Feimster
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Ohio State University
This dissertation evaluates the relationship between African American English and White Vernacular English as spoken in a small rural town in western North Carolina for consistencies in vowel production by group membership and for participation in the Southern Vowel Shift (SVS), a vowel rotation currently occurring in the Southern United States. A sociophonetic approach is used to gather and analyze data from male and female African American (AA) and European American (EA) lifelong or near life-long community residents. Sixty-four speakers aged 19-70+ were recorded reading the word list "heed," "hid," "hayed," "head," "had," "hod," "whod," "hood," "hoed," "hawed," "heard," "hide," "hoyed," "howed" representing the vowel contained in the hVd frame. Measures of vowel duration, normalized vowel space area, trajectory length (TL), and spectral rate of change (SROC) are completed. Analysis of variance of the obtained mean values categorized by gender, ethnicity, and age group (pre-integration or post-integration) are completed. The results of the data analysis indicate that ethnicity is not always a main effect of the variance found in the mean values. When ethnicity is a main effect there is a substantial difference in the variance accounted for when AA speakers have greater mean values than when EA speakers have greater mean values. When AA speakers have greater values the variance accounted for is typically between 50% and 60%. When EA speakers have greater values the variance accounted for ranged from 50% to 7%. There is no clear pattern of divergence between AA and EA speakers in this community. There is no definitive pattern of difference in vowel productions by gender or age group. Instead there are trends of similarity by age or gender or ethnicity on a number of parameters. A complex and evolving relationship of group membership to vowel production is evident. In assessing community participation in the SVS participation by both AA and EA speakers is evident. The data indicate community participation in the SVS is in regression with EA females leading the change. Both older and younger EA female speakers produce vowels in a manner suggesting earlier generations may have fully participated in the Southern Vowel Shift. A discussion of the findings is presented. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina