Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Sociophonetic and Acoustic Vowel Dynamics of Michigan's Upper Peninsula English
by Rankinen, Wil A., Ph.D., Indiana University, 2014, 248; 3635760
Abstract (Summary)

The present sociophonetic study examines the English variety in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (UP) based upon a 130-speaker sample from Marquette County. The linguistic variables of interest include seven monophthongs and four diphthongs: 1) front lax, 2) low back, and 3) high back monophthongs and 4) short and 5) long diphthongs. The sample is stratified by the predictor variables of heritage-location, bilingualism, age, sex and class. The aim of the thesis is two fold: 1) to determine the extent of potential substrate effects on a 71-speaker older-aged bilingual and monolingual subset of these UP English speakers focusing on the predictor variables of heritage-location and bilingualism, and 2) to determine the extent of potential exogenous influences on an 85-speaker subset of UP English monolingual speakers by focusing on the predictor variables of heritage-location, age, sex and class. All data were extracted from a reading passage task collected during a sociolinguistic interview and measured instrumentally. The findings of this apparent-time data reveal the presence of lingering effects from substrate sources and developing effects from exogenous sources based upon American and Canadian models of diffusion. The linguistic changes-in-progress from above, led by middle-class females, are taking shape in the speech of UP residents of whom are propagating linguistic phenomena typically associated with varieties of Canadian English (i.e., low-back merger, Canadian shift, and Canadian raising); however, the findings also report resistance of such norms by working-class females. Finally, the data also reveal substrate effects demonstrating cases of dialect leveling and maintenance. As a result, the speech spoken in Michigan's Upper Peninsula can presently be described as a unique variety of English comprised of lingering substrate effects as well as exogenous effects modeled from both American and Canadian English linguistic norms.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: de Jong, Kenneth
Commitee: Auger, Julie, Davis, Stuart, Paivio, Pia, Preston, Dennis
School: Indiana University
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 76/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Language, Acoustics
Keywords: Canadian english, Diffusion, Ethnic-heritage, Michigan, Sociolinguistics, Sociophonetics, Transmission
Publication Number: 3635760
ISBN: 978-1-321-17080-1
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