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Second dialect acquisition and phonetic vowel reduction in the American Midwest

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rory Turnbull


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© 2023 Elsevier LtdGeographic mobility can lead to the acquisition of new regional dialect features. This second dialect acquisition is highly variable across individuals and is affected by a range of linguistic and social factors. The realization of dialect-specific features is also affected by linguistic variables related to phonetic reduction, but this interaction has been primarily examined with a mix of mobile and non-mobile participants. In the current study, second dialect acquisition by Midwestern American young adults and its interaction with phonetic reduction processes was examined. Relative to lifetime residents of the Northern and Midland regions of American English, some Northern transplants to the Midland region exhibited second dialect acquisition and others exhibited maintenance of Northern dialect features. All talkers showed phonetic reduction due to lexical frequency, phonological neighborhood density, discourse mention, semantic predictability, and speaking style. These phonetic reduction processes only weakly interacted with dialect variation, such that less phonetic reduction was observed overall when it was potentially in conflict with dialect-specific vowel features. Taken together, the results provide additional evidence for substantial individual variation in second dialect acquisition, but limited evidence of an effect of second dialect acquisition on the interaction between dialect variation and phonetic reduction processes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Clopper CG, Burdin RS, Turnbull R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Phonetics

Year: 2023

Volume: 99

Print publication date: 01/07/2023

Online publication date: 08/05/2023

Acceptance date: 08/04/2023

ISSN (print): 0095-4470

ISSN (electronic): 1095-8576

Publisher: Academic Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.wocn.2023.101243


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