Title

Dynamic Vowel Qualities Among Multiethnic Santa Clara County Talkers

Publication Date

1-9-2021

Document Type

Presentation

Department

Linguistics and Language Development

Publication Title

Linguistic Society of America (LSA) 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting

Conference Location

Virtual

Abstract

This study considers speech in highly diverse, Santa Clara County, CA, asking whether any innovative phonetic features distinguish these multiethnic young adults from older, predominantly White, Western talkers from the TIMIT corpus (Garofolo et al., 1993). We investigate vowel qualities, focusing on monophthongal /eɪ/ and /oʊ/. Santa Clara County talkers have lowered and backed front vowels consistent with supra-local sound changes, and they produce more monophthongal /eɪ/ than the TIMIT speakers. Monophthongal /eɪ/ is distributed across our subject group, salient among speakers identifying as Indian, Vietnamese, and Mexican. Our analysis considers inter-individual variation and social motivations for its use.

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