Latest news: Annual Meeting Schedule — Washington, D.C., January 6-9, 2022

Annual Meeting Schedule — Washington, D.C., January 6-9, 2022

November 24th, 2021 Comments Off on Annual Meeting Schedule — Washington, D.C., January 6-9, 2022

From Thursday, January 6 through Sunday, January 9, 2022, the American Dialect Society will hold its annual meeting, in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America, in Washington, DC, at the Washington Hilton. See hotel, registration, and COVID safety info here.

 

American Dialect Society Annual Meeting Schedule

6- 9 January, 2021, Washington, D.C., Washington Hilton

 

Thursday, January 6

Executive Council

Room:

Chair: ADS President Michael Adams (Indiana University)

Time: 1:00 – 3:00 PM

Open meeting; all members welcome.

 

Annual Business Meeting

Room:

Chair: ADS President Michael Adams (Indiana University) Time: 3:00 – 3:30 PM

 

ADS Session 1: Reflections of Appalachia and the South in Vowel Variation and Change

Room:

Chair: Allison Burkette (University of Kentucky)

4:00 Joseph A. Stanley (Brigham Young University), Jon Forrest (University of Georgia), Lelia Glass (Georgia Institute of Technology), and Margaret E. L. Renwick (University of Georgia): Perspectives on Georgia vowels: from legacy to synchrony

4:30 Marie Bissell (The Ohio State University): The social stratification of change over time in /aw/ among White Residents in Raleigh, North Carolina

5:00 Kirk Hazen (West Virginia University): Individual coherence and covariation: evidence from Appalachia

5:30 Katie Carmichael (Virginia Tech) and Lily Carroll (Child Mind Institute): Southerners on the margins: putting the New Orleans vowel system on the dialectological map

 

Words of the Year Nominations

Room:

Chair: Ben Zimmer (Chair of ADS New Words Committee)

Time: 6:15 – 7:15 PM

Open meeting of the New Words Committee; ADS members and friends welcome. This meeting reviews nominations for Words of the Year 2021. Final candidates will be identified in preparation for the vote at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

 

Sister Society Meet and Greet Reception

Room:

Time: 8:30 – 10:00 PM

 

Friday, January 7

ADS Session 2: Linguistic Practices of Agency, Authenticity, and Identity

Room:

Chair: Kirk Hazen (West Virginia University)

8:30 Chad Hall (Michigan State University): Uncovering a focused Lebanese American ethnolect in Dearborn Michigan

9:00 Natalie Schilling (Georgetown University): ‘Working the water’: exploring agency, epistemics and dialect endangerment in Smith Island, Chesapeake Bay

9:30  Bryce E Mccleary (Rice University): “We all country”: region, place, and community language among Oklahoma City drag performers

10:00 John McCullough (University of South Carolina): Matter of artifact: indexing authenticity in Gullah Geechee tour guide linguistic media

 

ADS Poster Session

Room:

Time: 10:30AM – 12:00PM

Assigned poster board numbers are before each poster’s author(s). Each poster board will have an identifying number.

  1.  Sara Loss (Oklahoma State University): American whiches
  2. Jonathan Jibson (University of Wisconsin-Madison): Formant detail needed for dialect classification
  3.  Dennis Preston (University of Kentucky): Registration day
  4. Ryan Dekker (Arizona State University): “Southern accent” features in local news in the U.S. South: Comparing Columbus, Georgia to Lexington, Kentucky
  5. Ho’Omana Nathan Horton (Oklahoma State University): From ‘air’ to ‘Z-Boys’: an ethnolexicography of the skateboarding subculture
  6. Daniel Hasty (Coastal Carolina University) and Becky Childs (Coastal Carolina University) : Negotiating norms: language and identity in contemporary Appalachia
  7. Bridget Jankowski (University of Toronto), Jeremy M. Needle (University of Toronto), and Sali Tagliamonte (University of Toronto): Is it a camp or a cottage?: the cultural evolution of a lexical item in Ontario
  8. Marie Bissell (The Ohio State University) and Jennifer Cramer (University ofKentucky): Discursive strategies for constructing regional dialect identities on Twitter
  9. Joseph A. Stanley (Brigham Young University), Jessica Shepherd (Brigham Young University), and Auna Nygaard (Brigham Young University): Homogeneity and heterogeneity in Western American English
  10. Jennifer Renn (Purdue University): A mixed methods study on the impact of EL licensure coursework on teachers’ language attitudes and ideologies
  11. Katie Carmichael (Virginia Tech) and Aaron Dinkin (San Diego State University): Making a merger: social and linguistic factors in the low back merger in New Orleans English
  12. Jaime Benheim (Northwestern University): Northern cities and suburbs: TRAP, LOT, and THOUGHT among White Chicagoland adolescents
  13. Carly Dickerson (Rutgers University): U.S. Albanian heritage speakers’ acquisition of sociolinguistic knowledge
  14. Anna Kristina Moroz (University of Washington): Exploring applications of rootedness in sociolinguistic research in southern Oregon
  15. Nandi Sims (Florida International University): Vowel space without a standard: vowel variation among 6th graders in primarily Black, south Florida neighborhood
  16. Lisa Johnson (Brigham Young University): Ethnic differences in LBMS structure
  17. Leighton Stanfill (University of Chicago): Processes of gesture change within digital media
  18. Stefan Dollinger (University of British Columbia-Vancouver): Modelling standard varieties: epistemological considerations, “fail-safes”, and German doubts about pluricentric theory

 

ADS Session 3: Syntactic Variation and Change

Room:

Chair: Valerie M Fridland (University of Nevada-Reno)

11:00 John Powell (University of Arizona): The what-relative pronoun in historic AAL through Black drama

11:30 Marisa Brook (University of Toronto): Pretending it into existence: syntactic change through the semantic-pragmatic back door

12:00 Patricia Irwin (Swarthmore College): Sassy “I mean” and the conversational scoreboard

 

ADS Session 4: Variation and Change among Ethnic and Regional Identities

Room:

Chair: Robert Bayley (University of California-Davis)

1:00 Alexus Brown (University of Pittsburgh): Black American rap and Jamaican dancehall: an ecological exploration of diachronic cross-cultural contact through music

1:30 Rebecca Roeder (University of North Carolina-Charlotte) and Elise Berman (University ofNorth Carolina-Charlotte): Marshallese English in the United States: a first sketch

2:00 Benjamin Jones (University of Washington): “I heard tha[ʔ] his pick u[ʔ] tru[ʔ] bro[ʔ] down”: glottal stop replacement in a sample of Maine English

 

ADS Session 5: A Panel Honoring the Legacy and Impact of Ron Butters

Room:

Moderator: Phillip Carter (Florida International University) Time: 3:00-4:15 Panelists:

Walt Wolfram (North Carolina State University): Legal evidence in arguing for linguistic profiling

Erik Thomas (North Carolina State University): Ronald Butters’ editing work with the ADS

Phillip Carter (Florida International University): Language and sexuality: a tribute to Professor Ron Butters

 

Words of the Year Social Event and Vote

Room:

4:30 PM-5:30 PM Social event with cash bar

5:00 PM– 6:30 PM Words of the Year Vote

 

Saturday, January 8

ADS Session 6: Demographic Processes and Language Change

Room:

Chair: Charles Carson (Duke University Press)

8:30 Auna Nygaard (Brigham Young University): Greenie-be-gone: an exploration of Mormon missionary slang

9:00 Guy Bailey (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley) and Patricia Cukor-Avila (University of North Texas): Demographic complexity and language change

9:30 Haili Su (University of Toronto): “I am a they/them”: a study of the lexicalization of pronoun labels on Twitter

 

ADS Session 7: Vowel Raising, Shifts, and Space in Regional and Ethnic Variation

Room:

Chair: Tom Purnell (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

10:30 Andrew Bray (University of Georgia): Variant Canadian Raising: American-born hockey players and Canadian English

11:00 Rolando Coto-Solano (Dartmouth College), James N. Stanford (Dartmouth College), and Monica Nesbitt (Indiana University): A nationwide study of the low-back-merger shift

11:30 Lisa Jeon (University of North Texas), Andrew Cheng (University of California-Irvine), and Dot-Eum Kim (University of Georgia): Korean Americans’ vowel spaces at the intersection of ethnic and regional variation

 

President’s Address and ADS Annual Awards

Room:

Time: 12:30 – 1:30 PM

Michael Adams, ADS President (Indiana University): What lies beneath: ideological undercurrents in American dictionaries

Awards:

Recipient of the Roger Shuy Award for Best Paper of the Year in American Speech

American Dialect Society Fellows Student Travel Grants

 

ADS Session 8: Language Attitudes and Perceptions

Room:

Chair: Julie Roberts (University of Vermont)

2:00 Alexandra Serbinovskaya (Oklahoma State University): Perception of American English regional dialects by speakers of other languages

2:30 Matthew Gordon (University of Missouri), Mike Metz (University of Missouri), and Thanh P. Nguyen (University of Missouri): Why do they care about that?: Exploring teachers’ corrections from the perspective of language regard

3:00 Aaron Dinkin (San Diego State University): Local attitudes and dialect change in a tourist town

3:30 Amelia Stecker and Jaime Benheim (Northwestern University): Listeners’ interpretations of Mock Southern U.S. English in parody

 

Sunday, January 9

ADS Session 9: Verb Phrase Variation and Change

Room:

Chair: Joe Salmons (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

8:30 Basile Roussel (Université de Moncton-Shippagan) and Sali A. Tagliamonte (University of Toronto): Romancing the future: English will vs. going to in a French majority setting

9:00 Selikem Gotah (New York University), Gregory Guy (New York University), Laurel MacKenzie (New York University), Abed Qaddoumi (New York University), and Begum Saridede (New York University): A new look at a-prefixing in Appalachian English

9:30 Lamont Antieau (University of Kentucky) and Allison Burkette (University of Kentucky): “Pieces that was [put together]”: the social and historical contexts of leveled was within Linguistic Atlas Project data

10:00 Frances Blanchette (Penn State), Stanley Dubinsky (University of South Carolina), Amanda Harman (Penn State), and Rok Sim (University of South Carolina): Linguistic adaptation and the vernacular verbal passive

 

ADS Session 10: Identity, Place, and Placemaking

Room:

Chair: Tyler Kendall

11:00 Paul Reed (University of Alabama): The Southern Vowel Shift and meaningful places: How attachment to place affects vowel production among college students

11:30 Alicia Beckford Wassink (University of Washington) and Robert Squizzero (University of Washington): Back away from the rest of the West: ethnic minorities’ participation in a Washington English vowel pattern

12:00 Sharese King (University of Chicago), Andi Taylor (University of Chicago), and Zez Wyatt (University of Chicago): Investigating word-initial /l/ velarization in a northern African American community

12:30 Cristopher Font-Santiago (University of Puerto Rico) and Joseph Salmons (University of Wisconsin-Madison): Shibboleth or rule?: regional variation in American place-name pronunciation

 

Annual Conference 2022 Abstracts

Guy Bailey (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)
Patricia Cuckor-Avila (University of North Texas)

Demographic complexity and language change

This paper analyzes the relationship between demographic and language change for four morphosyntactic features (y’all fixin’ to, might could, and quotative be like) in Texas between 1989-2015. The data comes from two studies: (1) Linguistic Survey of the Southern Great Plains and (2) AAE data from the Springville Project. The data were analyzed using logistic regression procedures (both mixed and fixed models). yall, fixin’ to, and might could show effects of migration and metropolitanization (though not ethnicity), but they show much less change in either real or apparent time than the extensive demographic change in Texas would suggest. The Springville evidence confirms that demographic change can have complex linguistic consequences. Although the younger Springville population has adopted quotative be like, most likely brought in by Hispanics and Whites as the composition of the school changed, they have maintained two iconic AAE features, zero copula and habitual be.


Jaime Benheim (Northwestern University)

Northern cities and suburbs: TRAP, LOT, and THOUGHT among white Chicagoland adolescents

The apparent time reversal of some components of the Northern Cities Shift (NCS) mirrors the “Third Dialect” pattern, in which LOT-THOUGHT merger is predicted to trigger TRAP retraction. In wordlist data from white Chicago-area adolescents, TRAP F2 was significantly predicted by LOT-THOUGHT distance, consistent with previous work. Additionally, city residents produced higher TRAP, fronter LOT, and backer THOUGHT vowels than suburbanites. Though suburbanites lead these elements of NCS reversal, no city-suburb differences emerged for other NCS- or Third Dialect-implicated vowel classes, suggesting that speakers who lead reversal of TRAP and LOT are not applying supra-local norms across the vowel space.


Marie Bissell (The Ohio State University)

The social stratification of change over time in /aw/ among White residents in Raleigh, North Carolina

I examined change over apparent time in two canonically southern aspects of English /aw/ productions, fronted nuclei and lowered glides, among white residents in Raleigh, a city that has undergone prolonged contact with non-southern varieties. My results suggest leveling of both characteristics over apparent time without consistent social patterning: women led glide raising relative to same-aged men, but there were no other sex-based or class-based patterns. Movements away from the SVS for /aw/ in this study were not uniformly implemented, such that socially-stratified groups of talkers led certain aspects of an ongoing change while simultaneously not leading other (related) aspects.


Marie Bissell (The Ohio State University)
Jennifer Cramer (University of Kentucky)

Discursive strategies for constructing regional dialect identities on Twitter

We examined commentaries on Kentucky’s regional identity in the comments and quoted retweets of a publicly available Twitter poll published by The Courier-Journal, the state’s largest newspaper. We coded responses for several discursive strategies: demonstrating support for Midwestern/Southern poll options, offering alternative classifications, or proposing a compromise. Our results expand upon previous perceptual dialectology work about how native Kentuckians frequently divide the state into urban, rural, and mountain rural perceptual regions.

This tripartite division, mirrored in the heavy use of the labels of Midwest, South, and Appalachian in the current study, serves as further exemplification of Kentucky’s contested regionality.


Frances Blanchette (Penn State)
Stanley Dubinsky (University of South Carolina)
Amanda Harman (Penn State)
Rok Sim (University of South Carolina)

Linguistic adaptation and the vernacular verbal passive

Previous work on the vernacular verbal passive (VVP) “needs washed” construction has identified an implicational hierarchy among VVP verbs, where need is most frequent and acceptable, followed by want, then like. To explain this, we propose that the VVP began with need, then adapted to want, and then like. We hypothesize that this adaptation was conditioned by distinct lexical semantic properties of the verbs. We present the results of an in-progress experiment that probes whether adaptation to the VVP is dependent on native speaker knowledge, or only basic knowledge of the lexical semantics of need, want, and like.


Andrew R. Bray (University of Georgia)

Variant Canadian raising: American-born hockey players and Canadian English

The speech of 20 American-born professional hockey players was analyzed for Canadian

Raising (CR). Every player produced statistically significant tie/tight differences and surpassed 60 Hz difference. Thirteen produced statistically significant cow/house differences, but only seven surpassed 60 Hz difference at any percentage. Sixteen produced statistically significant down/house differences at multiple percentages, and ten surpassed 60 Hz difference. Three players exhibited down/house raising with no cow/house raising. Furthermore, every player who exhibited cow/house raising produced larger down/house differences. The uniform down/house differences suggest potentially novel CR variation, where down/house raising occurs without or to a greater degree than cow/house raising.


Marisa Brook (University of Toronto)

Pretending it into existence: syntactic change through the semantic-pragmatic back door

Like as a complementizer is often found with perception verbs seem, look, sound, and feel

(López-Couso and Méndez-Naya 2012) – following lexical replacement of as if and as though

(Brook 2018, 2020). Like can also be found after pretend; it is a minor variant in the Corpus of Historical American English (COHA) (Davies 2010–) but has been increasing since the 1960s despite not having a pre-existing foothold for as if and as though. The existence of pretend like is interpreted as influence from neighboring structures: verbs of behaviour (act like CP, behave like CP) and/or hypotheticality of perception verbs.


Alexus Brown (University of Pittsburgh)

Black American rap music and Jamaican dancehall: an ecological exploration of diachronic cross-cultural contact through music

Music is a central aspect of the collective Black diasporic experience and Black musical traditions like Black American Rap Music (BARM) and Jamaican Dancehall have influenced each other due to contact. Jamaica and Black America’s socio-historical and socio-cultural contexts, i.e., language ecologies (Thomason & Kaufman, 1988; Eliasson, 2015; Ludwig et. al, 2018), are and continue to be plagued with similar injustices. This paper will provide reasoning as to why there is apparent intermingling in BARM. This work underscores the importance of interdisciplinary research into musical genres and cultural expression in unearthing linguistic connections across the Black Diaspora.


Allison Burkette (University of Kentucky) Lamont Antieau (University of Kentucky)

“Pieces that was [put together]”: The social and historical contexts of leveled was within Linguistic Atlas Project data

The present study expands what we know about was-leveling via an in-depth examination of leveled was within eight Linguistic Atlas Project regional surveys. This paper looks at connections between was-leveling and extra-linguistic features that are likely relevant to the use of the feature (education level, profession, etc.). We will also consider grammatical conditions that favor leveled was, such as subject type, negation, etc., and will investigate how the use of leveled was has changed over time. Taking advantage of the increased availability of LAP data, this paper provides a broad socio-historical context for the use of was-leveling today.


Katie Carmichael (Virginia Tech)
Lily Carroll (Virginia Tech)

Southerners on the margins: Putting the New Orleans vowel system on the dialectological map

In linguistic research on American English, New Orleans English has been described as “marginal to the South” (Labov, Ash, & Boberg 2006). This paper updates the dialectological record via analysis of the vowel systems of 57 New Orleans English speakers. We describe several changes-in-progress including a shift away from the split short-a system and raised THOUGHT, as well as shifts towards GOOSE/GOAT-fronting and Canadian raising of pre-voiceless MOUTH. We thus argue that New Orleans English continues to defy straightforward dialectal classification as the rise of a “New” New Orleans dialect continues to be distinctive within the American South.


Katie Carmichael (Virginia Tech)
Aaron J. Dinkin (San Diego State University)

Making a merger: social and linguistic factors in the low back merger in New Orleans English

New Orleans English has historically retained distinct low back lot and thought vowels, but there is evidence of recent shift towards merger. In a sample of 57 speakers, we find men and women are trending toward merger in different ways: men through backing of LOT, and women through lowering of THOUGHT. Moreover, lowering of thought is most advanced preceding /l/, contrasting with other regions in which following /l/ typically conditions raising and backing of both thought and lot. We thus situate our analysis of New Orleans English low back vowels in terms of broader US trends.


Phillip M. Carter (Florida International University)

Language and sexuality: a tribute to Professor Ron Butters

Although Ron Butters is best known for his work on American dialects, in the first part of his career, and as a leading practitioner of forensic linguistics in the latter part, he also wrote several important papers on language and sexuality, an aspect of his career that is easy to overlook, but key to understanding Professor Butters as a person and a scholar. In this short talk, I consider Butters’ contributions to language and sexuality research, and place them in historical and personal context.


Rolando Coto-Solano (Dartmouth College)
Monica Nesbitt (Indiana University)
James Stanford (Dartmouth College)

A nationwide study of the low-back-merger shift

This study presents a large-scale acoustic sociophonetic analysis of the “Low-Back-Merger Shift” (LBMS; Becker 2019; Boberg 2019 inter alia), using audio recordings that we extracted from the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA). We analyze this shift using 376 speakers in reading style and 241 speakers in spontaneous speech (birth-years 1917-2000). LBMS appears to be increasing among younger speakers across regions. It is higher in the West (where it likely originated), and higher in reading than spontaneous speech (perhaps due to increasingly negative evaluations of local features). Overall, these results suggest LBMS is spreading widely, starting to diminish some regional diversity of Labov et al. (2006).


Ryan Dekker (Arizona State University)

“Southern accent” features in local news in the U.S. South: comparing Columbus, Georgia, to Lexington, Kentucky

‘Southern accent’ features were found to be prevalent among most of the 20 speakers in this sample broadcasters in two mid-size Southern cities. Columbus, GA, a city in the “Deep South”, was expected to have more regionally marked realizations, but both Columbus and Lexington had remarkably similar composite realizations for two features, the “pin-pen” merger and /e/-/ɛ/ proximity, that are socially salient (Allbritten, 2011). However, vowel trajectory evidence shows that the GA broadcasters incorporated Southern realizations more often, with significantly more monophthongal /aɪ/ and /u/. KY broadcasters also exhibited a significant difference where younger speakers realized monophthongal /aɪ/ less often.


Carly Dickerson (Rutgers University)

U.S. Albanian heritage speakers’ acquisition of sociolinguistic knowledge

Very little is known about heritage speakers’ sociolinguistic knowledge about variation in their language, either as it is spoken in heritage contexts or in the homeland. Based on interviews with Albanian heritage speakers and their parents, I describe how heritage speakers come to acquire social meanings in Albanian. Such acquisition involves a great degree of overt instruction from families and friends, and is often based on a relatively small set of personal experiences. While these social meanings generally overlap with those held by non-heritage speakers, there are also important differences that can be traced to the heritage-specific context.


Aaron J. Dinkin (San Diego State University)

Local attitudes and dialect change in a tourist town

I examine the social embedding of the loss of the Northern Cities Shift in Cooperstown, N.Y., home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Among Baby Boom–generation speakers, but not younger speakers, NCS features are correlated with distaste for tourists. Post-Boomers have less NCS overall, and also show style-shifting that Boomers don’t, retreating further from NCS in wordlist reading than spontaneous speech. Non-NCS vowels undergoing change do not show these patterns. These findings suggest that for Baby Boomers, NCS functions as a marker of local orientation; but for younger generations, it is merely something to be avoided in careful pronunciation.


Stefan Dollinger (UBC Vancouver)

Modelling standard varieties: epistemological considerations, “fail-safes”, and German doubts about pluricentricity

What we consider a language and a dialect is socio-politically influenced. Generally, linguistic treatments have embraced emerging social differentiations, e.g. American and Canadian English evading its former colonial British English umbrella, or Luxembourgish and Belgian Dutch leaving the heteronomy of German and Netherlandic Dutch. Not all philologies, however, follow a pluricentric approach today. German linguistics seems to express hegemonic tendencies in its treatment of Austrian German. This contribution characterizes this bias and proposes three “fail-safes”: a “horizontal” uniformitarian hypothesis, falsifiable theory-derived predictions and language-attitudinal interpretations that are sensitive to linguistic insecurity, which is widespread in speakers of non-dominant varieties.


Cristopher Font-Santiago (University of Puerto Rico)
Joseph Salmons (University of Wisconsin – Madison)

Shibboleth or rule?: Regional variation in American place-name pronunciation

Place-name pronunciation is talked about in two dramatically different ways. First, they function as markers of local identity — not knowing the local pronunciation of Passyunk, Pennsylvania or Oconomowoc, Wisconsin marks you as an outsider. Second, phonologists posit complex metrical rules to capture pronunciations like Ticonderoga and Apalachicola, treating them as ultimately rule-governed. We present survey responses on place-names from Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Most respondents could not identify metrically and otherwise complex pronunciations outside the state they live in. These findings call for further research on the sociolinguistics of these names for local identity.”

Selikem Gotah (New York University)
Gregory R. Guy (New York University)
Laurel MacKenzie (New York University)
Abed Qaddoumi (New York University)
Begum Saridede (New York University)

A new look at a-prefixing in Appalachian English

This paper presents a quantitative study of a-prefixing in Appalachian English in five subcorpora of the Audio-Aligned and Parsed Corpus of Appalachian English (Tortora et al. 2017).  We find constraints consistent with previous studies: a-prefixing is rare (but does occur) with non-verbs and words beginning with vowels or unstressed syllables. It is decreasing over time, from 30.5% in the 1939 corpus to 11.21% in 1997; this is consistent with Hazen et al. 2010’s account of the loss of traditional features of Appalachian English. Notably, the interviewers use a-prefixing very rarely compared to interviewees, reflecting a negative correlation with education/status.


Matthew J. Gordon (University of Missouri, Columbia)
Mike Metz (University of Missouri, Columbia)
Thanh P. Nguyen (University of Missouri, Columbia)

Why do they care about that?: exploring teachers’ corrections from the perspective of language regard

In US education, correcting students’ language is generally viewed as part of a teacher’s job. This paper asks what do teachers consider “errors” and what motivates them to make such corrections. We draw on a survey of K-12 educators from across Missouri. Teachers were asked about the likelihood that they would correct various deviations from “Standard English” in students’ speech and writing. We explore the results through a language-ideological lens to argue that teachers’ priorities with regard to their students’ language are shaped by sociolinguistic prejudices as well as a body of “traditional wisdom” within education.


Chad Hall (Michigan State University)

Uncovering a focused Lebanese American ethnolect in Dearborn Michigan

This study presents findings from a quantitative analysis of inter- and intraspeaker phonetic variability in the realization of /t/ and /d/ from second and third generation Lebanese American speakers in Dearborn, Michigan. In this speech community, /t/ and /d/ have an alveolar and a dental variant. It is hypothesized that the dental variant is a feature of a focused Lebanese American ethnolect. This study provides some of the first sociolinguistic descriptions of the English spoken by Lebanese Americans. It is also one of the first ethnolinguistic studies to introduce the concept of the ‘focused ethnolect’.


Daniel Hasty (Coastal Carolina University)
Becky Childs (Coastal Carolina University)

Negotiating norms: language and identity in contemporary Appalachia

In this poster we report on a survey of self-reported AppE usage, investigating subregional variation among young speakers in three Appalachian regions: Northern Appalachia, Middle Appalachia, and Southern Appalachia.  We investigate how speakers’ orientation towards AppE is connected to Appalachian identity and urban-rural differences related to recent changes in isolation. Rather than a homogeneous AppE, we see instead a distinction between the northern and southern ends of Appalachia with middle Appalachia as a transitional area. While shifts away from AppE are happening in northern Appalachia, speakers in southern Appalachia are maintaining AppE as an important part of their identity.


Kirk Hazen (West Virginia University)

Individual coherence and covariation: evidence from Appalachia

Drawing from scholarship on covariation, this paper examines both phonological and morphological variables for natives of Appalachia, a region of substantive change in the 1900s. This paper asks whether changing or stable variables have coherence at the level of the individual as separate from any particular intersection of social factors? Findings indicate that some components of the Southern Vowel Shift align with vernacular morphosyntactic variants for certain individuals but not others. Coherence at the individual level appears to be obtained at certain points in apparent time for changing variables when multiple social factors guide vernacular variants in the same direction.


Ho’omana Nathan Horton (Oklahoma State University)

From ‘air’ to Z-Boys’: an ethnolexicography of the skateboarding subculture

In this presentation, I take an ethnolexicographic approach (Silverstein, 2006) to present a glossary of community-specific lexical items used by members of the skateboarding subculture, skaters as we call ourselves. These items come primarily from sociolinguistic interviews with 11 skaters, supplemented by my own experience as a current and longtime member of the community. In addition to presenting the first documentation and description of the lexicon used by skaters, this project demonstrates the usefulness of the sociolinguistic interview as a source of (ethno)lexicographic data and describes the crucial role that lexicon plays in the performance and maintenance of skater values.


Patricia Irwin (Swarthmore College)

Sassy “I mean” and the conversational scoreboard

This paper analyzes a newly-identified use of the discourse marker “I mean”, termed SASSY “I mean”:

  • A: I’m trying to decide whether to live it up and have some wine tonight

B: I mean it IS your birthday

  • [context: B enters the room soaking wet] A: Do you need help?

B: I mean I could use a towel!

We discuss features of this use, including how it can convey in-group solidarity (1) or snarky admonishment (2). Incorporating early insights on “I mean” (Schiffrin 1987), the analysis utilizes Farkas & Bruce’s (2010) model of a Lewis-style conversational scoreboard.


Bridget L. Jankowski (University of Toronto)
Jeremy M. Needle (University of Toronto)
Sali A. Tagliamonte (University of Toronto)

Is it a camp or a cottage?: the cultural evolution of a lexical item in Ontario

Words for the place where Canadians go on summer weekends are considered among “the most powerful variables for distinguishing Canadian regions” (Boberg 2005:22). Using an 11-million-word corpus spanning 20 communities across Canada’s most populated province, we expose distinct regional patterns between camp (17%) and cottage (70%), a geographic riddle that cannot be reconciled with a broad ‘Northwestern Ontario’ vs. ‘Ontario’ distinction (Boberg 2005: 42). We argue that use of cottage outside its traditional territory reflects southern Ontario’s cultural hegemony. More than a region-defining feature, this variable is actually an icon of 20th century cultural change in Ontario.


Lisa Morgan Johnson (Brigham Young University)

Ethnic differences in LBMS structure

This poster reports on structural correlations between low back vowel merger/position and front lax vowel lowering/retraction (Low-Back-Merger Shift or LBMS). Based on analyses of word list recordings from two groups of Utah teens (Pacific Islanders and Euro Americans), I argue that the position of BOT affects the front vowels in the two ethnic groups differently: while the F1 of EA front vowels is inversely correlated with BOT F1, PI front vowels appear to be more sensitive to BOT F2. These results highlight the structural complexity of LBMS and the importance of recruiting ethnically diverse groups of participants for such studies.


Jonathan Jibson (University of Wisconsin–Madison)

Formant detail needed for dialect classification

How much formant detail is detectable in a vowel contour when classifying dialects? Synthetic vowels were generated from Wisconsin and North Carolina formant contours. Four versions were created: static (1 sample), diphthongal (2 samples), triphthongal (3 samples), and the most detailed contour (5 samples). Eighteen subjects from Wisconsin heard these stimuli in a dialect classification task (Wisconsin vs. North Carolina). For the native dialect, 5-sample vowels were classified best and the rest were equivalent; for the nonnative dialect, 1-sample vowels were the classified worst and the rest were equivalent; individual vowels varied. Modeling dialect classification is best with 5 samples.


Benjamin Jones (University of Washington)

I heard tha[ʔ] his pick u[ʔ] tru[ʔ] bro[ʔ] down: glottal stop replacement in a sample of Maine English

This study joins a growing literature devoted to the development of glottal stop replacement in American English as a potential site of regional, or dialectal, variation. In this study, data from a group of 10 male speakers from Maine are examined for the use of the glottal stop to replace the voiceless obstruents /p,t,k/. The data come a reality television show, Down East Dickering, allowing for a consideration of the performative aspects of the use of the glottal stop in constructing a “Maine” identity.


Sharese King (University of Chicago)
Andi Taylor (University of Chicago)
Zez Wyatt (University of Chicago)

Investigating word-initial /l/ velarization in a northern African American community

Recent studies of African Americans’ speech show that consonantal variation can be conditioned by social factors like region and/or gender (Calder & King, 2020; Farrington, 2019). While /l/ vocalization in syllable coda and word final positions has been investigated in African American Language (Fasold & Wolfram, 1970), there is little research examining /l/ velarization in word-initial positions. Investigating this understudied feature among 24 speakers from Rochester, New York, we find that older speakers have lighter /l/s than younger speakers. However, Black urban speakers from Rochester produced darker /l/s than previously-studied Black rural speakers from Princeville, North Carolina (Van Hofwegen 2011).


Lisa Jeon (University of North Texas)
Andrew Cheng (Simon Fraser University)
Dot-Eum Kim (University of Georgia)

Korean Americans’ vowel spaces at the intersection of ethnic and regional variation

This is the first comparative sociophonetic study of Korean Americans in different regions. We investigate the vowel spaces of 52 Korean Americans in three cities: Los Angeles (n=28), Houston (n=12), and Atlanta (n=12). We calculate speakers’ vowel space areas using normalized F1/F2. Linear models show that each region patterns differently, with between-group variation influenced by region and gender. Holistic vowel space compression occurs in California and Texas, but not Georgia. We connect these patterns with speakers’ differing orientations to metropolitanness, Southernness, and supra-regional Korean American identity. Variation in vowel space may index region but also diverging Korean American identities.


Sara S. Loss (Oklahoma State University)

American whiches

I explore variation (possibly reanalysis) in which clauses in American English by examining their use in a podcast. There were 275 occurrences of relative pronoun which, and 50 of “connective which” (Loock 2007). Connective which occurred more frequently than in British (Collins & Radford 2015) and Australian English (Burke 2017). Constructions without a gap were the most common. Interestingly, the majority of “gap-filled” constructions, which have a resumptive pronoun, did not have embedding (Asudeh 2012). Some which constructions lack a verb; this has only been noted in (semi-)scripted media (Burke 2017). American English has more which variation than other varieties.


Bryce E McCleary (Rice University)

Language, community, and intersectional regionality among Oklahoma City drag performers

This project investigates language and identity among 8 Oklahoma City drag performers (including 5 performers of color, 5 noncisgender performers). Employing queer folk linguistics, i.e., recontextualizing folk linguistic data as identity work, “place” for this community is unpacked as a site for individual and community practice. Talk about the “gay district” and the state overall reveals struggles for ethno-racial and sexual minorities, highlighting the importance of queer kinship systems. Findings conclude drag families function as micro communities aiding navigation as performers within this insulated “safe space”, itself within a city (and state) that is often hostile towards the respondents.


John “Spud” McCullough (University of South Carolina)

Matter of artifact: indexing authenticity in Gullah Geechee tour guide linguistic media

For heritage and cultural tour guides whose capital is tied to the production of linguistic artifacts, the construction, maintenance, and embodiment of authenticity is a critical component of the commodification process. The current study draws on the case of Gullah Geechee, an English-lexified creole language of the coastal southeastern United States, where tour guides navigate ideologies of authenticity through self-authored texts and media. Although performances of Gullah Geechee authenticity are well-attested in the literature, the indexical significance of tourism-oriented artifacts in intercommunity brokering represents an opportunity to understand how perceptions are commodified by the in-group and consumed by outsiders.


Anna Kristina Moroz (University of Washington)

Exploring applications of rootedness in sociolinguistic research in Southern Oregon

The present study in Jackson and Josephine Counties, located in Southern Oregon, focuses on the importance of rootedness, defined as orientation towards place and how it factors into sociolinguistic studies.  Included is an operationalization of rootedness developed for this study to explore whether rootedness is helpful in understanding linguistic variation in the community. Among the linguistic variables included in the study, the inclusion of the rootedness score improved the performance of the statistical model for BAN raising, and a post hoc analysis of the rootedness score found that people who identified more neutrally towards Southern Oregon raised BEG more.


Auna Nygaard (Brigham Young University)

Greenie be-gone: a brief exploration of Mormon missionary slang

This presentation explores the presence and function of slang among missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka. Mormon missionaries). Despite being asked to abstain from “slang or inappropriate language of any kind” (Missionary Handbook 2019), survey responses gathered from 300 returned-missionary participants found that missionaries still develop slang. Responses indicate that these terms are used to codify acceptable behavior, create romantic euphemism, establish sub-group delineations by its usage, among other things. Responses suggest that slang serves a wide array of pragmatic and sociolinguistic functions among Mormon missionaries, despite institutional discouragement.


John W. W. Powell (University of Arizona)

The what-relative pronoun in historic AAL through Black drama

The What-Relative Pronoun (WRP) is a relativizer found in historic African American Language (AAL). Prior literature on the WRP has focused on its use in ex-slave recordings and associated it with early southern AAL, finding that the form was nearly gone by the turn of the century and replaced by other relativizers. I constructed a corpus of 5.4 million words and use computational methods to investigate when and where the WRP was used. My findings show that the form was used throughout the twentieth century, including in Northern AAL, but also shows a steady decrease in the frequency of WRPs.


Dennis R Preston (University of Kentucky)

Registration day

This presentation looks at the underlying cognitive procedures that accompany the enregistration of both the elements of varieties and varieties themselves. I elaborate on these perceptual/cognitive conditions and urge those who refer to varieties as “enregistered” to consider them in light of public (i.e., folk) treatment, not only with regard to attitudinal responses but also with consideration of the role the nonlinguistic public plays in the development of, changes in, and responses to such varieties, as shown in such work as Eckert’s characterization of an “indexical field (2006) and Preston’s consideration of an “attitudinal cognitorium” (2010).


Paul E. Reed (University of Alabama)

The Southern Vowel Shift and meaningful places: how attachment to place affects vowel production among college students

Typically, place is considered static, affecting all speakers equally. However, a speaker’s orientation to place helps explain participation, or not, in regional productions. Thus, place’s impact is more nuanced. However, place orientation continues being considered coarse-grained, using large regions or city. What about smaller meaningful places? This paper focuses on three

SVS features in the speech of college students at a Southern US university: /ɑɪ/ monophthongization, the location of the nuclei of /i/ and /e/, and raising and fronting of /ɪ/ and /ɛ/. Preliminary results support the influence of place attachment, with speakers with stronger attachment exhibiting more SVS features.


Jennifer Renn (Purdue University)

A mixed methods study on the impact of EL licensure coursework on teachers’ language attitudes and ideologies

This paper presents the results of a mixed methods study of 40 elementary school teachers in Indiana. Approximately half participated in a year-long online English learner licensure program and were paired with a same-grade control teacher. Survey, interview, and course data were triangulated to assess program impact on beliefs about language diversity. Results show that treatment teachers held more positive beliefs about linguistic diversity and displayed greater positive change in their language attitudes compared to controls. Moreover, treatment teachers placed greater value on students’ home language, were more cognizant of language prejudices, and expressed more openness to linguistic differences post-program.


Rebecca Roeder (University of North Carolina-Charlotte)
Elise Berman (University of North Carolina-Charlotte)

Marshallese English in the United States: a first sketch

As part of a larger ethnographic project on why L1 English-speaking children of Marshallese heritage are so frequently assigned English Learner status by U.S. schools, and the consequences of this early misidentification, this study presents the first morpho-syntactic description of Marshallese English (ME) in the U.S. Evidence comes from a case study of photo-elicitation interviews with four children living in the small town with the largest population of Marshallese in the mainland U.S. We observe substantial consistency with ME in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, additional substrate influence from Marshallese, and influence from non-dominant varieties of American English.


Basile Roussel (Université de Moncton, campus de Shippagan)
Sali A. Tagliamonte (University of Toronto)

Romancing the future: English will vs. going to in a French majority setting

In this study, we analyze variation between will and going to among Francophones and Anglophones speaking English in Kapuskasing, Ontario. What constraints operate, particularly the effect of sentential polarity, a key contrast of the future temporal reference (FTR) systems of English and French? The important result is that while older Anglophones pattern in tandem with known studies of English, young Anglophones employ the polarity contrast of the French system, despite the fact that they are speaking English. We attribute this striking recent change in constraint ranking in polarity to increasing French-English bilingualism in the community.


Natalie Schilling (Georgetown University)

‘Working the water’: exploring agency, epistemics and dialect endangerment in Smith Island, Chesapeake Bay

In this study, I augment variationist sociolinguistic understandings of dialect endangerment by considering the discourses in which dialect features are embedded. Focusing on Smith Island, in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, I examine agency and epistemics in narratives and related discourse (as revealed, e.g. in features such as referring terms and modals) about traditional means of making a living (mostly crabbing). The analysis shows how island residents use both discourse and dialect to shape and sustain a strong sense of community distinctiveness, one built on concern for fellow community members and understanding of the close interrelation between humans and the natural environment.


Alexandra Serbinovskaya (Oklahoma State University)

Perception of American English regional dialects by speakers of other languages

The perception of three distinct American English regional dialects, Southern, Midwestern, and New England, by non-native speakers of Chinese, Russian and Arabic was assessed. The data was collected from the first semester international undergraduate students at a large American university using the verbal guise technique and a cloze test. The results were analyzed with Kruskal-Wallis test and ordinal logistic regression test. The dialects’ perceived difficulty correlated with cloze test results. As for attitude, one dialect was rated the coolest by the respondents from all three language backgrounds, and one group of raters gave the most positive scores to all dialects.


Nandi Sims (Florida International University)

Vowel space without a standard: vowel variation among 6th graders in a primarily Black, South Florida neighborhood

The speech of 6th graders at a Miami school demonstrates wide ranges of variation in F1/F2 space. Unexpectedly, there is minimal correlation between variants or with individual characteristics, like group affiliation or language background. Given that participants discuss standard language and style shift morphosyntactically, I argue that the local standard lacks vowel rules. This could be due to the lack of power: None of the available variants are associated with the standard so they use whichever. It could also be an effect of the variable linguistic backgrounds of South Florida’s elite: A vowel standard has yet to be established.


Leighton Stanfill (University of Chicago)

Processes of gesture change within digital media

How does digital media encourage creative gesture production? In this study, I examine the increased linguistic flexibility of a subsection of conventionalized gesture I identify as Metaphorical Phrase Gestures (MPGs). These MPGs are the gestural manifestations of lexical metaphors, and they have developed two predictable processes of change that appear unique to digital media: metaphor enactment and prosodic emphasis. MPGs exhibit a predictable preference for metaphor enactment as well as a predictable set of prosodic features, many of which are unique to the digital environment and not yet documented within gestural literature.


Joseph A. Stanley (Brigham Young University)
Jon Forrest (University of Georgia)
Lelia Glass (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Margaret E. L. Renwick (University of Georgia)

Perspectives on Georgia vowels: from legacy to synchrony

We present a developing longitudinal study of English spoken in Georgia, collating linguistic interviews from five collections. The combined collection includes acoustic vowel measurements from 110 speakers representing 100+ years of apparent time. In the first half of the 20th century the SVS progressed to include “swapping” between tense and lax front vowel pairs (via changes to vowel-inherent dynamics), and GOAT-fronting. Before 2000, the SVS began to retreat across the south (Dodsworth & Kohn 2012), and the Low-Back-Merger Shift (Becker 2019), evidenced through a full low-back merger and lowering/retraction in the lax vowels, can be found in today’s youngest adults.


Joseph A. Stanley (Brigham Young University)
Jessica Shepherd (Brigham Young University)
Auna Nygaard (Brigham Young University)

Homogeneity and heterogeneity in Western American English

We present a much needed cross-region assessment of the Low-Back-Merger Shift and BAN-raising in Western American English using data from 93 speakers recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk. Our findings support Fridland et al. (2017:172) who state that “the West exhibits both homogeneity and heterogeneity.” Most participants had LBMS indices akin to values from other LBMS-Shifted communities and there is wide variation in ban’s height. Some demographic factors (age and gender) can explain some heterogeneity, while others (education, region) do not. Overall, there is massive inter-speaker variation, particularly in allophones of bat, that mostly cannot be attributed to broad demographic categories.


Amelia Stecker (Northwestern University)
Jaime Benheim (Northwestern University)

Listeners’ interpretations of Mock Southern U.S. English in parody

In instantiations of mock language, speakers use negative stereotypes to semiotically frame stylizations of an enregistered linguistic variety. To investigate factors in listeners’ interpretations of mock-Southern US English, 120 participants listened to a non-Southern speaker using a mock-Southern accent to imitate a politician (labeled Democrat, Republican, or No Political Info, based on condition). Though all listeners recognized that mock Southern casts the target as uneducated/unintelligent, listener political affiliation, listener region, condition, and interactions between these factors were significant predictors of interpretations of mock Southern (all p<0.05). This suggests that complex contextual factors influence the indexical work performed by mock Southern.


Haili Su (University of Toronto)

“I am a they/them”: a study of the lexicalization of pronoun labels on Twitter

Emerging from pronoun sharing, pronoun labels, fixed collocations of English third-person pronouns (e.g., she/her) show novel grammatical development driven by social discussion of gendered language. This study examines 1,841 tokens of pronoun labels in

lexicalization-incentivizing grammatical frames from Twitter, collected in May 2021. These tokens are commonly used as nominal predicates, similar to zero-derived degrammaticalized pronouns (Conrod, 2019), while innovative referential, adjectival, and verbal usages are attested. The grammatical development is interwoven with other socially driven language changes, noticeably the divorcing of pronoun and gender (Zimman, 2017) as trans and queer speakers utilize pronoun labels as resources for linguistic self-determination.


Marie Tano (Stanford University)

Does blackness have a sound?: raciolinguistic expectations of a bidialectal speaker

In examining how linguistic familiarity affects perception, I conducted an experimental survey, where listeners evaluated the race and personality of a bidialectal Black male pronouncing experimental sentences in AAE and MUSE. My study addresses the following: How will the evaluation of the speaker be influenced by his dialectal use? How will the ethno-racial/linguistic experiences of participants influence their evaluation? Results indicated that the speaker was perceived as “Blacker” and warmer with AAE, but more competent with MUSE. Additionally, participants with the most familiarity with AAE appeared the most positive in their overall evaluations. The findings demonstrate how linguistic experiences may influence how listeners evaluate accent/ethnicity.


Erik R. Thomas (North Carolina State University)

Ronald Butters’ editing work with the ADS

Ronald Butters played a crucial role in bringing the ADS’s publications up to current standards. During the 1970s, the venerable journal American Speech was failing to keep up with developments in studies of variation and seemed to be slipping into irrelevancy.  As editor from 1982 through 1995, Ron focused the journal on addressing current issues and regaining its place as a premier journal of language variation.  His tenure editing Publication of the American Dialect Society (2000-05) saw the publication of eight volumes and the reclaiming of its publication schedule.


Alicia Beckford Wassink (University of Washington)
Robert Squizzero (University of Washington)

Back away from the rest of the West: ethnic minorities’ participation in a Washington English vowel pattern

Yakama and Chicano/a English speech communities provide a valuable context for investigating participation in Washington vowel patterns under the competing configurations of heritage languages. We investigated fronting of non-prelateral /o/ and /u/, merger of /ul/~/ʊl/(POOL~PULL) and /ʊl/~/ol/ (BULL~BOWL). A proportional distance approach (20-35-50-65-80%) was used to measure formant trajectories in conversational and citation tasks. We provide a transfer-based account for possible heritage language influence on these vowels’ spectral characteristics. While some speakers show coalescence of spectral cues across the entire vocoid, others maintain a difference in F1, F2 and/or duration, suggesting a near-merger.


Walt Wolfram (North Carolina State University)

Legal evidence in arguing for linguistic profiling

I present an empirically based model for justifying a claim of linguistic profiling. We wrote a script for a rental call similar to the complaint, and recorded it with three African American and European American men, including the plaintiff in the case. The recordings were played for a naïve audience of 32 listeners who identified the speakers’ ethnicity. The results from the experiment argued against the defendant’s claim that they could not identify the ethnicity of the speaker from the phone call. The case honors Ron Butters’ claim for the utility of linguistic analysis in resolving issues of linguistic justice forensically.

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