Latest news: Schedule for Annual Conference in New Orleans, Jan. 2–5, 2020

Schedule for Annual Conference in New Orleans, Jan. 2–5, 2020

November 24th, 2019 Comments Off on Schedule for Annual Conference in New Orleans, Jan. 2–5, 2020

This is the schedule of papers, meetings, posters, and presentations for the 2020 American Dialect Society annual conference to be held from Thursday, January 2, through Sunday, January 5, 2020, in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside in New Orleans, Louisiana. This includes the annual word-of-the-year vote.

Updates will be made to this page as the week of the conference approaches and will be indicated here with a new timestamp. UPDATED Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 09:40 PST. Schedule assignments have been known to shift so be sure to check yours on the day of your presentation!

For more information on the hotel and location, and other events associated with the conference, see the 2020 conference page on the Linguistic Society of America website.

You may register online for the American Dialect Society conference and luncheon here. Please be sure to read that page carefully! Registering for the American Dialect Society and the Linguistic Society of America conferences are two separate registrations but they use the same system and there is an LSA registration discount for ADS members.

Schedule of Sessions

Abstracts are included at the end of this schedule.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 2

Executive Council

Room: Compass Room

Chair: ADS President Michael Adams (Indiana University)

Time: 1:00 – 3:00 PM

Open meeting; all members welcome.

Annual Business Meeting

Room: Compass Room

Chair: ADS President Michael Adams (Indiana University)

Time: 3:00 – 3:30 PM

ADS Session 1: Dialect and Identity Alignment and Choices

Room: Compass Room

Chair: Becky Childs (Coastal Carolina University)

4:00 Bryce McCleary (Oklahoma State University): Polyphonous bricolage: Oklahoma drag and stylistic variation

4:30 Matthew Gordon (University of Missouri): Working the indexical fields of Missouri

5:00 Nicole Holliday (Pomona College), Emelia Benson Meyer (Scripps College): Black alignment and political stance: Intonational variation in the debate speech of Cory Booker and Kamala Harris

5:30 Kirk Hazen (West Virginia University), Audra Slocum (West Virginia University), Caroline Toler (West Virginia University), Mary Werner (West Virginia University), Maddi Moore (West Virginia University): Receding Southern features embroiled in northern Appalachian identity choices

Words of the Year and Word of the Decade Nominations

Room: Compass 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 2019 and Word of the Decade 2010-2020. Final candidates will be identified in preparation for the vote at 5:00 p.m. Friday.

Sister Society Meet and Greet Reception

Room: Spirits Bar & Lounge (First Floor Lobby)

Time: 8:30 – 10:00 PM


FRIDAY, JANUARY 3

ADS Session 2: Ethnolinguistic Practices and Perceptions in the US and Canada

Room: Compass Room

Chair: Stephen Mann (University of Wisconsin-La Crosse)

8:30 Taylor Jones (University of Pennsylvania): The Great Migration and multiple AAE vowel systems: Regional variation in the vocalic system of African American English

9:00 Kendra Calhoun (University of California, Santa Barbara): Attracting black undergraduate students to linguistics through a black-centered introduction to linguistics course

9:30 Robert Podesva (Stanford University), Christian Brickhouse (Stanford University), Lewis Esposito (Stanford University), Chantal Gratton (Stanford University), Sabrina Grimberg (Stanford University), Zion Mengesha (Stanford University): TRAM/TRAP and country-orientation among Latinx speakers in California

10:00 Ian Clayton (University of Nevada, Reno) Valerie Fridland (University of Nevada, Reno): Reno-Sparks Indian Colony: Vowel features in a Native American variety of English

ADS Poster Session

Room: St. James Ballroom

Time: 10:30-noon

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

  1. Allison Burkette (University of Kentucky), Crissandra George (University of Kentucky): Dialect Notes 2020: Linguistic Atlas Project update
  2. William Kretzschmar (University of Georgia), Margaret Renwick (University of Georgia), Joseph Stanley (University of Georgia), Katherine Kuiper (University of Georgia), Lisa Lipani (University of Georgia), Michael Olsen (University of Georgia), Rachel Olsen (University of Georgia): The view of Southern vowels from large-scale data
  3. Nathan Wendte (Tulane University): Creative adaptation of English loanwords in Louisiana Creole
  4. Stephen Howe (Fukuoka University): Jearse and dow: Emphatic “yes” and “no” in the East of England and Northeast America
  5. Susan Tamasi (Emory University): Behind every good doctor is a great linguist
  6. Jennifer Cramer (University of Kentucky): “This is where I ‘think’ Appalachia is”: A perceptual dialectology approach to understanding beliefs about Appalachian Englishes
  7. Bihua Chen (Indiana University Bloomington): Perception of American English accents by Chinese-speaking learners in the US
  8. Matt Champagne (North Carolina State University): There’s n/aʊ/ pl/aɪ/ce like home: Resistance to Canadian Raising in rural Kansas
  9. Amanda Payne (Haverford College): Patterns of unbound anaphors in a ‘reality TV dialect’
  10. Julio Serrano (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana): A perceptual dialectology of Mexican Spanish
  11. Karissa McFarlane (Grand Valley State University), Wil Rankinen (Grand Valley State University), Kin Ma (Grand Valley State University): Language regard in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: Perceptual dialectology through the mental maps of non-linguists
  12. Patricia Cukor-Avila (University of North Texas), Guy Bailey (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley): What is a sociolinguistic interview?
  13. Alexandra D’Arcy (University of Victoria): On being a caregiver and a community member in the midst of language change
  14. Lisa Johnson (University of Utah): (NG) in the Speech of Utah teens
  15. Laurel Stvan (University of Texas at Arlington): Health advice speech acts via Internet memes
  16. Rachel Olsen (University of Georgia): Social identity is a pitch: Expressing who you are through prosody
  17. Sky Onosson (University of Manitoba), Nicole Rosen (University of Manitoba): Ethnolinguistic vowel differentiation in Winnipeg, Canada
  18. Valerie Freeman (Oklahoma State University), Jenna Curran (Oklahoma State University): “Is Country the same as Southern?” Characterizing the Oklahoma Country accent via imitations
  1. Jennifer Renn (Purdue University), Trish Morita-Mullaney (Purdue University): Transforming teachers: The impact of a licensure program on Indiana educators’ language attitudes and practices
  2. Iman Sheydaei Baghdadeh (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Thomas Purnell (University of Wisconsin-Madison): Translocal re-racialization of lexical items: Is there ethnographic evidence for an incipient dialect of Americans of Middle Eastern and North African descent?
  3. Lisa Sprowls (Tulane University): Garden District English: Addressing a gap in the New Orleans dialect landscape

ADS Session 3: Discourses and Dialects in New Orleans and Beyond

Room: Compass Room

Chair: Erica Benson (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)

11:00 Nathalie Dajko (Tulane University), Katie Carmichael (Virginia Tech), Brittany Russell (Virginia Tech), Noel Boyle (Virginia Tech): Ethnic and neighborhood-based divides in New Orleans English

11:30 Tom Lewis (Georgia Southern University): Networks of threat: The role of social network geometry and Latinx threat discourses in New Orleans Latinx English

12:00 Sonja Lanehart (University of Arizona), Ayesha Malik (University of Texas at San Antonio): Baton Rouge, NOLA, and San Antonio teenager perceptions of AAL and self-identity

ADS Session 4: New Words, Revived Intensifiers, and Multicultural Ideologies in Canada

Room: Compass Room

Chair: Michol Hoffman (York University)

1:00 Karlien Franco (University of Toronto), Sali A. Tagliamonte (University of Toronto): How to gain a new guy in 10 decades: A study of lexical variation in Ontario dialects

1:30 Emily Blamire (University of Toronto), Marisa Brook (University of Toronto): Very quick reversal: Rapid real-time change in Canadian English intensifiers

2:00 Derek Denis (University of Toronto), Chantel Briana Campbell (University of Toronto), Eloisa Cervantes (University of Toronto), Jeanne F. Nicole Dingle (The University of British Columbia), Keturah Mainye (University of Toronto), Michelle Sun (University of Toronto), Timothy Gadanidis (University of Toronto): Ideologies and social meanings around Multicultural Toronto English

ADS Session 5: A Panel Honoring the Legacy and Impact of Michael B. Montgomery

Room: Compass Room

Moderator: Paul Reed (University of Alabama)

Time: 3:00-4:30

Panelists:

Walt Wolfram (North Carolina State University): Complicating the study of English in Appalachia

Kirk Hazen (West Virginia University): Contested concepts

Becky Childs (Coastal Carolina University): Isolated compared to what?” Isolation, explanations, and Appalachian English

Jennifer Cramer (University of Kentucky): Understanding the myths and realities of Appalachian Englishes

Christina Tortora (The Graduate Center, CUNY): Syntactic observations of Appalachian English

Frances Blanchette (Penn State University): How non-standardized varieties serve as a window into human language

Anita Puckett (Virginia Tech University): The emblematic nature of Appalachian English

Allison Burkette (University of Kentucky): Appalachian English and the Linguistic Atlas Projects

Paul Reed (University of Alabama), Tracey Weldon-Stewart (University of South Carolina), Bridget Anderson (Old Dominion University): Questions, books, and time: Montgomery, the colleague, mentor, and friend

Words of the Year and Word of the Decade Vote

Room: St. Charles Ballroom

Time: 5:00 – 6:30 PM


SATURDAY, JANUARY 4

ADS Session 6: Variation and Representation in Social and Academic Media

Room: Compass Room

Chair: Jessi Grieser (University of Tennessee-Knoxville)

8:30 Christopher Strelluf (University of Warwick): Regional and grammatical distributions of need complements on Twitter

9:00 Katherine Conner (The Ohio State University): Recycle, reframe, rekey, (re)Tweet: Intertextually examining (re)produced meaning of #MeToo on Twitter

9:30 Sonja Lanehart (University of Arizona), Ayesha Malik (University of Texas at San Antonio): Diversity and inclusion in language variationist and sociolinguistics research journals

ADS Session 7: Pedagogy and Perceptions:

Room: Compass

Chair: Betsy Evans (University of Washington)

10:30 Jeffrey Reaser (North Carolina State University): Beyond dialect awareness: Reframing students’ dialects as educational assets

11:00 Katie Welch (Independent Researcher): Discovery Learning in the sociolinguistics classroom: Using boojie to teach American English history

11:30 Michol Hoffman (York University), Naomi Nagy (University of Toronto), James Walker (La Trobe University), Ronald Beline Mendes (University of São Paulo): Sounds of the city: Perceptions of ethnically marked speech in Toronto

ADS Annual Luncheon

Room: River Room

Chair: ADS President Michael Adams (Indiana University)

Time: 12:15 – 1:45 PM

This year and for the first time, pre-registration for the luncheon is available online through the LSA website. Pre-registration is requested by December 13th, 2019. Subject to availability, registration may also be purchased onsite at the LSA registration desk. The cost is $50, which is payable on the LSA website. Students registered with the ADS meeting are free, but are also required to register online for the luncheon.

Announcement: Roger Shuy (Georgetown University): Recipient of the Roger Shuy Best Paper of the Year in American Speech Award

Speaker: Sonja Lanehart (University of Arizona)

Unapologetically Black Language, Linguists, and Linguistics

ADS Session 8: Reflections of Identity and Social Meanings in Vowel Shifts

Room: Compass Room

Chair: Kirk Hazen (West Virginia University)

2:00 Cecilia Bahls (Reed College), Arthur Garrison (Reed College), Kara Becker (Reed College): Rural speakers are shifting, too: The low-back-merger shift in Moscow, Idaho and Port Townsend, Washington

2:30 Marie Bissell (The Ohio State University): Get Out Of Town!: Evidence of male speakers leading changes in /aʊ/ nucleus height in Raleigh, North Carolina

3:00 Annette D’Onofrio (Northwestern University), Jaime Benheim (Northwestern University), Shawn Foster (Northwestern University): Distinction without distance: Racialized vocalic differences in an integrated Chicago community

3:30 Jonathan Jones (University of Georgia), Margaret Renwick (University of Georgia): Heterogeneity in Southern speech: Evidence from the Mississippi Delta

4:00 Jon Bakos (Indiana State University), Brian José (Indiana State University), Betty Phillips (Indiana State University): A naughty-knotty project in West-Central Indiana, revisited: A real-time analysis 15 years later


SUNDAY, JANUARY 5

ADS Session 9: Syntactic Variation and Change of Which, Anymore, and Bare Nominals

Room: Compass Room

Chair: Wil Rankinen (Grand Valley State University)

8:30 Sara Loss (Oklahoma State University) Mark Wicklund (Humboldt State University): A change in progress: connective “which”

9:00 Laurence Horn (Yale University): Anymore once more: Geographical and syntactic distribution

9:30 Jim Wood (Yale University): Constructing syntactic dialects of American English

10:00 Lauren Bigelow (University of Toronto), Sali Tagliamonte (University of Toronto): Where have all the articles gone? Bare nominals in Marmora and Lake, Ontario

ADS Session 10: Perceptions, Attitudes, and Identity

Room: Compass Room

Chair: Christopher Strelluf (University of Warwick)

11:00 Phillip Weirich (Miami University): Free classification of dialects in Indiana

11:30 Timothy Gadanidis (University of Toronto): Uh, that’s a little rude: Implicit judgments of um and uh in instant messaging

12:00 Morgan Momberg (Michigan State University), Danielle Brown (Michigan State University): Lowkey opinion or lowkey fact: Exploring the acceptability of sentence-initial lowkey

12:30 Wil Rankinen (Grand Valley State University), Kin Ma (Grand Valley State University): Words and Yooper identity: The geolinguistic landscape of lexically enregistered variants


Annual Conference 2020 Abstracts

Iman Sheydaei Baghdadeh (University Wisconsin-Madison)

Thomas Purnell (University Wisconsin-Madison)

Translocal re-racialization of lexical items: Is there ethnographic evidence for an incipient dialect of Americans of Middle Eastern and North African descent?

This study contributes to our understanding of how dialects emerge from shared attitudes of speakers within imposed groups, in this case L1-English/English-dominant Americans of Middle Eastern and North African descent (MENA-Americans). A MENA fieldworker recorded and analyzed sociolinguistic interviews of eighteen MENA-Americans from the Upper Midwest. First, this paper describes how pronunciation of ethnically-affiliated words associates positively with a speaker’s ethnically affiliative stance. Second, the findings exemplify nuances of affiliation and how it can be affected by accommodation. Participants’ re-racialized pronunciations – suggestive of their agentive performances – are discussed in light of theories: accommodation, dialect formation, and identity.

Jon Bakos (Indiana State University)

Brian José (Indiana State University)

Betty Phillips (Indiana State University)

A naughty-knotty project in West-Central Indiana, revisited: A real-time analysis 15 years later

In much of the American Midland, one signature dialect feature is a merger of the LOT and THOUGHT vowels, the cot-caught merger. The merger has been studied in Indiana (e.g., Phillips 2004, Fogle 2008), but the region has not received extensive dialectological attention. Here we conduct an acoustic follow-up to Phillips’ (2004) study by comparing data from 1998-2002 (n=81) with modern recordings made between 2016-17 (n=29). Sociolinguists traditionally view the low-back merger as a change in progress, but our preliminary results suggest that the merger has not advanced in western Indiana to the extent that earlier studies might have predicted.

Kara Becker (Reed College)

Cecilia Bahls (Reed College)

Arthur Garrison (Reed College)

Rural speakers are shifting, too: The Low-Back-Merger Shift in Moscow, Idaho and Port Townsend, Washington

This study explores Low-Back-Merger Shift (LBMS) in two rural Western locales: Moscow, Idaho, and Port Townsend, Washington. Analysis of 21 sociolinguistic interviews with white women found widespread Low Back Merger and as well LBMS, and lot-backing in apparent time. ANOVA tests found no significant differences for most LBMS vowels, suggesting similarity between these geographically disparate locales. Differences arose for lot F2, where Port Townsend speakers are further back, and for kit, where Moscow speakers are higher and fronter. The study highlights two rural locales that have never been documented, finding active participation in a widespread North American chain shift.

Lauren Bigelow (University of Toronto)

Sali A. Tagliamonte (University of Toronto)

Where did all the articles go? The use of bare nominals in Marmora and Lake, Ontario

Fieldwork in Marmora, Ontario (pop. 4,074), a place with predominantly British founders, led to 39 sociolinguistic interviews with families having deep roots in the area. Among the most striking features observed are definite nouns with no articles.

(1) We had Ø milking machine.

Analysis shows they are frequent among the oldest community members, especially men and older people use them in more contexts than younger speakers. The data further show an effect of information structure (cf. Rupp and Tagliamonte, 2019). Taken together, these findings demonstrate that Marmora English reflects an earlier stage in the history of article development in English.

Marie Bissell (Ohio State University)

Get out of town!: Evidence of male speakers leading changes in /aʊ/ nucleus height in Raleigh, North Carolina

This study examines changes in the height of the /aʊ/ nucleus over time in a southern city that has undergone significant linguistic changes due to in-migration (Dodsworth & Kohn 2012). I use a linear mixed effects regression model to show that female speakers are consistently producing higher /aʊ/ nuclei over time, even while male speakers are moving towards lower, less southern productions. While female speakers lead in broader systemic changes in the Raleigh vowel system, male speakers are an unexpected and interesting source of change in /aʊ/ nucleus height.

Emily Blamire (University of Toronto)

Marisa Brook (University of Toronto)

Very quick reversal: Rapid real-time change in Canadian English intensifiers

Targeting intensifiers (Ito and Tagliamonte 2003, Tagliamonte 2008), we examine four consecutive years of sociolinguistic interviews collected by undergraduates (cf. Van Herk 2008). In 2004, really was the most prevalent variant in Canadian English, with very nearing obsolescence (Tagliamonte 2008). Between 2016 and 2019, really has remained the most popular, but the unexpected incoming form is very, which shows a considerable increase with an classic predicted female lead (Labov 2001). This sudden revival attests to the rapid turnover rate of the lexical composition of intensification systems (Bolinger 1972, Peters 1994) and raises questions about whether very has new social connotations.

Frances Blanchette (Penn State University)

How non-standardized varieties serve as a window into human language

Michael Montgomery’s relentlessly meticulous and thorough observations about (morpho-) syntactic features of Appalachian speech inspired and laid the foundation for much subsequent work. This talk focuses on one particular feature, negation, and in particular on Negative Concord structures where two or more syntactic negations yield a single semantic negation (e.g., nobody can’t cheat me out of nothing). I will show how, in the spirit of Montgomery’s work, observing the range of structures and uses of Appalachian negative sentences leads to a more complete picture of the complex relations between meaning and structure in negation, and in human language more generally.

Allison Burkette (University of Kentucky)

Appalachian English and the Linguistic Atlas Projects

In addition to being an advocate for the study of Appalachian Englishes, Michael Montgomery was an advocate for the Linguistic Atlas Project (LAP). Like Montgomery himself, data from the LAP often challenges our assumptions about regional variation in American English, as Montgomery’s assessments of that data bear witness. This talk will outline his contributions to the LAP, highlighting his work with the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States (LAGS), and the connections between the LAP and the study of Appalachian Englishes.

Allison Burkette (University of Kentucky)

Crissandra George (University of Kentucky)

Dialect Notes 2020: Linguistic Atlas Project update

Following the example set by Hans Kurath in the 1930s, this poster takes the opportunity to present the American Dialect Society with a new kind of Dialect Notes on the current status of the Linguistic Atlas Project, including details on the nature and contents of the LAP collection, the status of each regional survey’s data (i.e. information about data format and accessibility), along with data samples that suggest that the LAP materials can be used in sociolinguistic inquiry in ways that go beyond the regional distribution of vocabulary.

Kendra Calhoun (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Attracting Black undergraduate students to linguistics through a Black-centered introductory linguistics course

I present an overview of the motivations, format, and outcomes of an introductory linguistics course designed for the UCSB-HBCU Scholars in Linguistics Program, a collaborative research program addressing Black students’ underrepresentation in the field. The online course adapts traditional course models to make linguistics more accessible to students new to language study, emphasize the relevance of linguistics to non-linguistics students, and centers Black language and culture throughout the course. I provide examples of lessons and assessments, as well as students’ and instructors’ reflections on strengths and weaknesses of the course.

Matt Champagne (North Carolina State University)

There’s n/aʊ/ pl/aɪ/ce like home: Resistance to Canadian raising in rural Kansas?

Patterns of Canadian raising exist in urban Kansas City (Strelluf 2019), and this study extends this examination to three, rural Kansan communities. This study examines /aɪ/ and /aʊ/ nuclei values for F1 and F2 at 20% and 50% of the way through vowel. Mixed effects models reveal patterns that suggest patterns of Canadian raising among for the /aɪ/ nucleus, but not for the /aʊ/ nucleus. Where the /aʊ/ nucleus lowers and retracts in the vowel space, the /aɪ/ nucleus raises slightly before voiceless consonants in some contexts. In addition, /aɪ/ nuclei patterns suggest community-based variation in production.

Bihua Chen (Indiana University)

Perception of American English Accents by Chinese-speaking Learners in the US

To examine how L2 (second language) learners perceive accents of English spoken in the U.S., this study asked Chinese-speaking learners of English living in various states to listen to eight readings of the same passage recorded by eight female speakers with different accents and evaluate each accent on a series of descriptors. Results showed that the Midwestern accent was perceived as highest on standardness and status but not solidarity. The Southern, AAL, and the Mandarin accents were considered less appropriate in formal settings, and the Mandarin and Southern accents were rated significantly higher than the others on solidarity.

Becky Childs (Coastal Carolina University)

“Isolated compared to what?”: Isolation, explanations, and Appalachian English

Discussions of Appalachia and Appalachian English, in particular, have depended largely on isolation as an explanation for the regional patterns found in the region. As Montgomery (2000) notes, though, explanations that rely upon isolation must critically examine the ways in which we conceive of and operationalize it. Specifically, we must consider the ways that isolation really works in Appalachia. In this presentation, I will discuss some of the problems that arise in previous descriptions of isolation in this region and then offer some methodological possibilities for operationalizing it.

Montgomery, M. (2000). The Idea of Appalachian Isolation. Appalachian Heritage 28(2), 20-31.

Ian Clayton (University of Nevada, Reno)

Valerie Fridland (University of Nevada, Reno)

Reno-Sparks Indian Colony: Ethnic and heritage language influence

This work examines participation in regionally defining vowel shift patterns for members of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony in Reno, NV. In our study, Anglo and Native American speakers showed reflexes of the larger Western system, with retraction in /æ/ and /ɛ/. Yet, though adhering to larger Western features for many of their vowels, RSIC speakers innovate in a number of aspects of their vowel system, namely BEG raising, PEEL/PILL neutralization and /aw/ backing. These features are not only more advanced in RSIC speakers, but, in contrast to those converging with Anglo norms, are promoted instead by older Native American men.

Jennifer Cramer (University of Kentucky)

Understanding the myths and realities of Appalachian Englishes

My research has revealed that Appalachia is a salient category for Kentuckians describing their dialect landscapes. While this is perhaps unsurprising, it became important to understand how linguists differ from non-linguists in describing the region. Michael Montgomery’s work was foundational for my understanding of the myths and realities of Appalachian Englishes. This presentation highlights misconceptions about Appalachian Englishes elucidated in Montgomery’s work, revealing how such stereotypes have hidden the vibrant and dynamic nature of these varieties and helped to perpetuate the idea that speakers of these dialects are old-fashioned and backwards – which is the reality of those varieties for non-linguists.

Jennifer Cramer (University of Kentucky)

“This is where I ‘think’ Appalachia is”: A perceptual dialectology approach to understanding beliefs about Appalachian Englishes

This poster presents a replication of an Appalachian cultural geography (Ulack and Raitz 1982) that examined perceptions of Appalachia’s location and character. Using a perceptual dialectology approach (e.g., Preston 1989), this project asks nonlinguists to indicate where Appalachian Englishes exist on a U.S. map, provide labels, and describe Appalachian people and language. Results reveal that insiders reference positive attributes while outsiders and cognitive outsiders tend toward more negative labels and descriptions. Though negative stereotypes about the region surface, sometimes even among those who value their Appalachianness, this project provides a better understanding of how perceptions of these varieties vary.

Alexandra D’Arcy (University of Victoria)

On being a caregiver and a community member in the midst of language change

If children model the vernacular of their primary caretaker, what model do they target? To explore this, I draw on a combination of adult data (speaker N=162) and a child and caretaker corpus (family N=16) to compare evidence from the community with evidence from the home. I focus the language of caretakers across talk to children and to adults. Variationist examination of adjectives of positivity (N=6137) and deontic modality (N=2255) reveals that caretakers model a more innovative grammar than is found in the community, regardless of addressee, suggesting that the broader sociolinguistic ecology is critical to understanding how variable grammars are modelled and mastered.

Nathalie Dajko (Tulane University)

Katie Carmichael (Virginia Tech)

Brittany Russell (Virginia Tech)

Noel Boyle (Virginia Tech)

Ethnic and neighborhood-based divides in New Orleans English

In this paper we report on lexical, syntactic, and phonological patterning in contemporary New Orleans English, juxtaposing observed patterns of variation with reported perceptions of language divides in the city. Production data shows a growing divide between Black and White speakers and the slow merger of the longstanding category Creole with Black identity. Perception results, however, indicate that linguistic variation is largely understood as linked to neighborhood: both a map-drawing task and a pilesort activity show that neighborhood and class affiliation are more salient to speakers than are racial/ethnic divides. In many ways, while they inhabit the same space, Black and White New Orleanians live in different places. We discuss potential sources for this disconnect, including the trend toward increased focus on, and pride in, geographic placèdness (Silverstein 2014) in American dialectological perception.

Derek Denis (University of Toronto Mississauga)

Chantel Briana Campbell (University of Toronto)

Eloisa Cervantes (University of Toronto)

Jeanne F. Nicole Dingle (University of British Columbia)

Keturah Mainye (University of Toronto Mississauga)

Michelle Sun (University of Toronto Mississauga)

Timothy Gadanidis (University of Toronto)

Ideologies and social meanings around Multicultural Toronto English

Multicultural Toronto English (MTE) is a multiethnolect spoken in Toronto. Multiethnolects are repertoires of features derived from urban language contact that young people—regardless of ethnolinguistic background—can access for stylistic purposes or incorporate into their vernacular. This interculturalism is not without controversy; questions of cultural appropriation frequently arise. We report on the results of a language attitudes survey designed to elicit the ideologies and discourses behind lexical features of MTE. This elucidates the social meanings and personæ that MTE indexes. At the intersection of place, race, and gender lies a covert prestige that we suggest has mapped onto MTE.

Katherine Conner (The Ohio State University)

Recycle, reframe, rekey, (re)tweet: Intertextually examining (re)produced meaning of #MeToo on Twitter

This work analyzes the current usage of #MeToo on Twitter through Tannen’s (2006) recycling, rekeying, reframing framework using 18,190 tweets. Beyond basic #MeToo recycling, results suggest the rekeying of #MeToo by some tweeters introduces negative stances (e.g. suspicion, disgust) into the movement’s discourse, and the reframing of #MeToo through the use of additional hashtags (#MAGA, #Feminism) to disrupt the original discourse. It is the deictic nature of #MeToo that has allowed for its rampant alteration by users. This has implications for future analysis of hashtags as more/less deictic and enhances our understanding of hashtags as discursive content markers and framing components for tweets.

Annette D’Onofrio (Northwestern University)

Jaime Benheim (Northwestern University)

Shawn Foster (Northwestern University)

Distinction without distance: Racialized vocalic differences in an integrated Chicago community

Van Herk (2008) proposed that White speakers advanced the Northern Cities Shift (NCS) as “symbolic White Flight,” creating distance from Southern African-Americans who migrated Northward. We examine NCS- and Southern Shift-implicated vowels in a historically White middle-class Chicago community that actively resisted White Flight and has become increasingly integrated. African-American and White community members maintain significant vocalic differences across apparent time, despite increased cross-racial contact and growing positive attitudes toward racialized diversity community-wide. Processes of racialized integration therefore do not necessitate convergence, and we suggest that new social meanings of regionalized features may help explain the maintenance of racialized differences.

Karlien Franco (University of Toronto)

Sali A. Tagliamonte (University of Toronto)

How to gain a new guy in 10 decades: A study of lexical variation in Ontario dialects

This study investigates the sociolinguistic and geographical distribution of words to refer to an adult male in English, e.g. guy, man, fellow, gentleman, chap and bud. We analyze data from 17 communities in Ontario with multifactorial methods. Our results reveal a notable language change in progress. Guy is taking over as the dominant variant but this development is nuanced by the complexity of the sociolinguistic landscape (e.g. urban versus rural, social network type). Thus, variation in words for referring to men provides new insight into the competing influences and evolution of sociolinguistic factors in the process of language change.

Valerie Freeman (Oklahoma State University)

Jenna Curran (Oklahoma State University)

“Is Country the same as Southern?” Characterizing the Oklahoma Country accent via imitations

This study used accent imitations to examine Oklahomans’ productions and attitudinal perceptions of Country and Southern accents compared to natural Oklahoman speech. Speakers’ vowel spaces did not vary systematically between natural and imitation guises, yet listeners rated natural guises as standard, moderately Oklahoman and Midwestern, but not country, Southern, or hick/redneck. In contrast, they rated both Country and Southern imitations as highly Southern and country, moderately Oklahoman and hick/redneck, and non-standard. That is, Country and Southern imitations were judged in line with typical attitudinal perceptions of Southern US English, and both “Standard Midwestern” and “Country Redneck” are equally “Oklahoman.”

Tim Gadanidis (University of Toronto)

Uh, that’s a little rude: Implicit judgments of um and uh in instant messaging

I report the results of a perception study designed to investigate implicit perceptual judgements of uh and um in the instant messaging (IM) register. Um and uh have been implicated in a change in progress (Tottie, 2011; Wieling et al., 2016; i.a.); recent work (Gadanidis, 2018) suggests a functional difference may be emerging in IM. 78 participants rated IM-senders who used um, uh or neither on a set of Likert scales. Compared to the neither condition, um is rated as more feminine, and uh is rated as less polite. I argue that these findings are linked to the ongoing change.

Matthew J. Gordon (University of Missouri)

Working the indexical fields of Missouri

Drawing on Eckert’s notion of indexical fields, this paper examines the social meanings of the pronunciation of the toponym Missouri with a final schwa. How to pronounce the state’s name has been the subject of debate for at least 130 years, and I examine how the meanings associated with the various pronunciations have evolved over time. In addition to exploring historical commentary, I present results from a recent survey of Missourians and I analyze a corpus of tweets, in which <Missoura> is used to signal particular cultural and political divisions.

Kirk Hazen (West Virginia University)

Audra Slocum (West Virginia University)

Caroline Toler (West Virginia University)

Mary Werner (West Virginia University)

Maddi Moore (West Virginia University)

Receding Southern features embroiled in northern Appalachian identity choices

In Appalachia, the most northern boundary of the South has moved further south over the last century. In order to address questions of language change in Appalachia, we examine how adolescent speakers adopt 20th-century Appalachian variables to create anew the sociolinguistic fabric of their community. For 20 rural students, we conducted quantitative analysis of leveled was, (ING), and quotatives. The more country-oriented teens also demonstrated vernacular variants such as regularized don’t, demonstrative them, ain’t, and multiple negation. Yet, as northern Appalachians have recoiled from negative stereotypes, the Southern dialect region has receded from northern Appalachia.

Kirk Hazen (West Virginia University)

Contested concepts

Michael Montgomery was never afraid to engage arduous scholarly pursuits or to challenge underlying scholarly concepts. He asked fundamental questions in his own work and in his review of works in the field of dialectology at large. Some of his most important reviews involved the concept of isolation (what is it and how permeable is it?) and the function of folk beliefs (are they wrong and useful?). This presentation works through his questions and discusses their impact across the field of dialectology, especially Montgomery’s take on the Elizabethan English myth and its use by other scholars.

Michol F. Hoffman (York University)

Naomi Nagy (University of Toronto)

James A. Walker (LaTrobe University)

Ronald Beline Mendes (University of São Paulo)

Sounds of the city: Perceptions of ethnically marked speech in Toronto

Changes in immigration have increased ethnic and linguistic diversity in Toronto. Anecdotal remarks and media attention suggest Canadians’ awareness of ethnically marked ways of speaking English but sparse research exists on perceptions of these ‘ethnolects.’ We report the results of a pilot project in which 100 participants listened to soundclips from 18 Torontonians from five ethnic groups (British/Irish, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Punjabi). They were asked to identify each speaker’s ethnicity and judge how well they spoke English. Torontonians better identify speakers with stronger ethnic orientation, but associations of who speaks well are tied to perceived ethnicity rather than actual ethnicity.

Nicole Holliday (Pomona College)

Emelia Benson Meyer (Pomona College)

Black alignment and political stance: Intonational variation in the debate speech of Cory Booker and Kamala Harris

This study examines 2019 debate speech from presidential candidates Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, specifically focusing on intonational contours, to test how variation may be conditioned by addressee, racialized issue, and affect. Regression models indicate Harris and Booker demonstrate differences in use of tones conditioned by all three variables and Harris employs more L+H* accents and faster F0 rise in L+H* when addressing a rival candidate and when talking about race. Harris’ greater use of AAL intonation may signal desire to align herself with black voters, while Booker’s lack of similar strategies may indicate tactics less dependent upon such alignment.

Laurence R. Horn (Yale University)

Anymore once more: Geographical and syntactic distribution

Revisiting Dunlap’s 75-year-old questionnaire-based study of the distribution of anymore in “positive, non-interrogative, and non-hypothetical” contexts (e.g. “My employer always asks me to do that kind of work anymore”), our 2019 Amazon Mechanical Turk survey of 579 respondents is largely consistent with Dunlap (and DARE), finding widespread acceptability in Pennsylvania and among Midland speakers, while New Englanders and Metropolitan New Yorkers strongly reject anymore in non-polarity environments. Our results, mapped utilizing ArcGIS software, also reinforce the observation that non-polarity anymore “implies a negative attitude toward the state of affairs reported” (Labov) and support the markedness of sentence-initial anymore.

Stephen Howe (Fukuoka University, Japan)

Jearse and dow: Emphatic “yes” and “no” in the East of England and Northeast America

In my home dialect of the East of England, we have emphatic forms of “yes” and “no”: jearse and dow. Neither form is recorded in the OED or Survey of English Dialects.

Jearse and dow are also used in America. Although not recorded by the Linguistic Atlas of New England, colonists from Eastern England probably brought jearse and dow to New England in the seventeenth century. I will examine the extent of jearse and dow in America, including new unpublished data. I will also outline how jearse and dow are used, and suggest a possible origin of these emphatic forms.

Lisa M. Johnson (University of Utah)

(NG) in the speech of Utah teens

Historically, English words ending in <ng> were pronounced as [ng], though in most dialects, pronunciation coalesced into [ŋ] by about 1600. A “velar nasal plus” (VN+) variant, often pronounced [ŋg] or [ŋk] has been documented in some areas, including northwest England and Utah. This study examines the use of VN+ in word list recordings from a multiethnic sample of Utah teens from two high schools in Salt Lake County, confirming the presence of the variant and comparing rates of use between ethnic groups. Initial coding using forced alignment is tested by manual coding of a subset of tokens.

Jonathan Jones (University of Georgia)

Margaret E. L. Renwick (University of Georgia)

Heterogeneity in Southern speech: Evidence from the Mississippi Delta

GIS mapping and spatial analysis show that Mississippi Delta speech has a distinct implementation of Southern vowel features. We test acoustic data from the Digital Archive of Southern Speech (DASS) for Southern features identified by the Atlas of North American English (ANAE). Spatial analysis in GeoDa used the Local Moran’s I method to identify speaker clusters and outliers. Mapped results (at https://arcg.is/1WXHvv) show that the Mississippi Delta differs from ANAE descriptions and from other DASS states. Delta speakers cluster together for features including feel-fill and fail-fell mergers, /æ/-diphthongization, /ɔɪ/-monophthongization, and /aʊ/-fronting: overall, their participation in these ANAE features is low.

Taylor Jones (University of Pennsylvania)

The Great Migration and multiple AAE vowel systems: Regional variation in the vocalic system of African American English

This study presents the first description of vocalic variation in AAE on a national scale. Using a novel reading passage, we obtained a sample of 209 AAE speakers from across the US. The data were compared against Atlas of North American English data. AAE variation follows the African American Great Migrations from the South to the North, not patterning with white English(es). AAE forms its own regional system; is not one vowel shift; and for most vowels, the Mississippi is a clear dividing line. AAE variation mirrors dialect regions proposed by Jones (2015), though we find more distinct regions.

William A. Kretzschmar, Jr. (University of Georgia)

Margaret E. L. Renwick (University of Georgia)

Lisa M. Lipani (University of Georgia)

Michael L. Olsen (University of Georgia)

Rachel M. Olsen (University of Georgia)

Joseph A. Stanley (University of Georgia)

The View of Southern vowels from large-scale data

We have extracted c. 2 million tokens of vowels from a rigorous sample of 64 speakers across the American South in an NSF-funded project for forced alignment and automatic formant extraction. We will show how our vowel measurements across the whole region differ from national mean F1/F2 scores, from the meta-analysis reported by Kent and Read 2002, which will create a Southern baseline. In this paper, we will we will cover the entire vowel system, and also inspect social differences between the groups and subareas within the Southern region. Our findings offer complex picture that, together, represents the South.

Sonja Lanehart (University of Arizona)

Unapologetically Black Language, Linguists, and Linguistics

My devotion to language uses and identities in Black communities emerged and persists because I am a Black woman with roots in Texas and Louisiana. I love Black people even though society says I should not because Blackness is socially constructed to be less. This 2020 American Dialect Society Presidential Address is in none other than New Orleans, Louisiana— a majority Black city in the Southeastern United States, which is the cradle of African American Language. Nearly 15 years post-Katrina and in honor of Toni Morrison, I will take this opportunity to discuss who, what, when, where, how, and why we show up and “we do (Black) language (Morrison 1993) and linguistics in our homes, in our communities, in our schools, and in our scholarship – unapologetically.

Sonja Lanehart (University of Arizona) and Ayesha Malik (Hanor Law Firm)

Diversity and inclusion in language variation and sociolinguistics research journals

We analyze race, ethnicity, and gender as well as researchers’ subjectivities as described in the methods and methodologies articulated in feature articles published in several language variation/sociolinguistics journals from their inception until 2018 using a Critical Race Theory framework, especially the permanence of racism, interest convergence, essentialism, colorblindness (Delgado & Stefancic, 2001), and Intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1991). Data reveal a dearth of research inclusive of people of color or by scholars of color. We conclude with suggestions for moving toward more inclusive, accurate, and diverse scholarship.

Sonja Lanehart (University of Arizona) and Ayesha Malik (Hanor Law Firm)

Black-identified teenager perceptions of AAL and self-identity in Texas and Louisiana

We discuss the perceptions of African American Language and identity by groups of Black-identified teenagers –African American and Afro-Hispanic – in Baton Rouge, LA (BTR), New Orleans, LA (NOLA), and San Antonio, TX (SAT). Both BTR and NOLA are Black-majority cities, 55% and 60% respectively, with Latinx populations of 3% and 5%, respectively. SAT, the seventh largest city in the United States, has a 63% Hispanic or Latinx population of any race. The Black population in SAT is 7%. We compare these cities because of their mirrored demographics of Black identity and language attitudes.

Tom Lewis (Georgia Southern University)

Networks of threat: The role of social network geometry and Latinx threat discourses in New Orleans Latinx English

This paper analyzes the realization of pre-nasal /æ/ in New Orleans Latinx English. Speakers in New Orleans have traditionally exhibited an allophonic split in /æ/ realization. Latinx English speakers have been noted to resist /æ/ rising. While Latinx immigrants are not participating in the traditional split system, some Latinx immigrants are acquiring a nasal /æ/ system. My account employs social network modeling and considers the role of threat discourse narratives in shaping the sociolinguistic context. Social network metrics are shown to be significant predictors of pre-nasal /æ/ realization and qualitative analysis illustrates the role of LTN discourses in shaping performance

Sara S. Loss (Oklahoma State University)

Mark Wicklund (Humboldt State University)

A change in progress: Connective which

In spontaneous English, which clauses can deviate from traditional syntactic schemas by having a resumptive pronoun where the gap would otherwise be. Researchers claim that deviant which is not an error but a reanalysis (e.g. Sells 1985; Kuha 1994; Loock 2005, 2007, 2010; Collins & Radford 2015; Burke 2017). However, there is no consensus as to how which is being reanalyzed: subordinating conjunction, coordinating conjunction, and caseless relative pronoun have all been suggested. Here, we present novel audio data of naturally occurring deviant which constructions and grammaticality judgements in which deviant which behaves like a coordinating conjunction.

Bryce E McCleary (Oklahoma State University)

Polyphonous bricolage: Oklahoma drag and stylistic variation

This project investigates the realization of /t/ in the spoken discourse from interviews and group discussions with 6 drag performers in a community of practice in Oklahoma City. It focuses on the occurrence of the release of /t/ in various phonetic environments, then relies on (identity in) interaction to begin hypothesizing potential meanings for released /t/ in this community. Finally, as half of these speakers are people of color, and half are white, this project employs raciolinguistic insights to discuss the phonetic variation, the potential sources for variation, and possible evidence of appropriation of AAE-related stylistics within US gay communities.

Karissa McFarlane (Grand Valley State University)

Wil Rankinen (Grand Valley State University)

Kin Ma (Grand Valley State University)

Language regard in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: Perceptual dialectology through the mental maps of nonlinguists

As a geographic region and speech community, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP) is well positioned to examine language regard using hand-drawn mental maps to determine how the general population perceives dialect differences inside and outside their community. The present study examines the geographic distribution of perceived “Finnish-ness,” “Yooper-ness,” and “Canadian-ness” categories across the UP. This 92-participant study, stratified by four UP counties, reveals that perceived “Finnish-ness” and “Yooper-ness” are focused on the UP’s northwestern regions, while “Canadian-ness” shows variation loosely focused on the eastern UP.

Rachel Miller Olsen (University of Georgia)

Social identity is a pitch: Expressing who you are through prosody

This work explores how humans use the prosodic element of pitch to communicate aspects of social identity such as gender, ethnicity, and region of birth. The DASS corpus, an extensive collection of historical semi-spontaneous southern U.S. speech, was orthographically transcribed and force-aligned, and f0 measurements at 20-35-50-65-80% of the way through each stressed vowel were automatically collected. Examination of the pitch trajectories reveals differences in pitch range and shape along social and regional lines. These results suggest there are prosodic elements at work below the level of the intonational phrase that communicate regional and social information in naturalistic speech.

Sky Onosson (University of Manitoba)

Nicole Rosen (University of Manitoba)

Ethnolinguistic vowel differentiation in Manitoba

This paper discusses the formation of new transnational communicative practices by focusing on the speech of two important ethnic heritage populations in the province of Manitoba: Mennonites, and Filipinos. Mennonites have a long history in Manitoba, and Filipinos are currently the most important visible minority in the capital, Winnipeg. Our study is based on sociolinguistic interviews with 107 Manitobans, yielding just under 500,000 vowel tokens for analysis. Our results indicate significant differences in vowels undergoing known changes-in-progress, such as Canadian Shift and GOOSE-fronting, between ethnic groups, highlighting the importance of continued investigation of ethnolinguistic variation in Canada.

Morgan Momberg (Michigan State University)

Danielle Brown (Michigan State University)

Lowkey opinion or lowkey fact: exploring the acceptability of sentence-initial lowkey

The emerging adverbial use of lowkey has received little attention, especially in sentence-initial position. In a judgment survey (N=52), respondents rated the felicitousness of sentence-initial lowkey in fictional scenarios across three conditions we call ‘unpopular’, ‘popular’ and ‘factual’. As hypothesized, lowkey was most felicitous with unpopular opinions, e.g. Lowkey this lasagna tastes awful in a scenario where everyone eats lasagna, followed by popular opinions e.g. lowkey this lasagna tastes amazing, and factual statements e.g. Lowkey everyone is eating lasagna. Our survey results suggests possible pragmatic variance in the use of sentence-initial lowkey.

Amanda Payne (Haverford College)

Patterns of unbound anaphors in a ‘reality TV dialect’

Reflexive anaphors (e.g. “myself”) are generally considered to be ungrammatical without an antecedent in the same clause to bind them. However, it has been noted (Charnavel and Sportiche 2014) that the first person reflexive anaphor is relatively acceptable in some speech contexts, even when unbound by a first person pronoun. Though acceptability judgment surveys indicate such uses are degraded, they are extremely common in the context of reality TV interviews. This project investigates the syntactic distribution of these unbound first person anaphors, as well as the perceived connotation of formality they encode.

Robert Podesva (Stanford University)

Christian Brickhouse (Stanford University)

Lewis Esposito (Stanford University)

Chantal Gratton (Stanford University)

Sabrina Grimberg (Stanford University)

Zion Mengesha (Stanford University)

TRAM/TRAP and Country-Orientation Among Latinx Speakers in California

We examine variation in TRAP/TRAM among 51 Latinx speakers in Salinas, California. TRAM and TRAP are lowering and retracting in apparent time. This is led by younger women. Country-oriented and bilingual speakers are lowering and retracting TRAM and have less of a split than town-oriented speakers, while speakers of higher education levels have a greater split than speakers of lower education levels. This is in contrast with Podesva et al.’s (2015) findings that country-oriented White speakers have a larger TRAM/TRAP split than townies, highlighting the complex relations among race, town/country-orientation, and place underlying the meaning potential of the nasal split.

Anita Puckett (Virginia Tech University)

The emblematic nature of Appalachian English

At the beginning of Michael Montgomery’s introduction to the section on language in the Encyclopedia of Appalachia, he notes, “Appalachian speech has long served as an emblem of the region’s natives—one that has inspired contradictory, fanciful, and sometimes far-fetched notions about the people and their culture” (p. 999). This presentation applies his observation to how the quotidian speech of those speaking a variety of Appalachian English in Montgomery County, Virginia, contributes to the emblematic construction of a negative Appalachian imaginary by many of the non-locals teaching or researching at Virginia Tech, a major university located within this county.

Wil Rankinen (Grand Valley State University)

Kin Ma (Grand Valley State University)

Words and Yooper Identity: The geolinguistic landscape of lexically enregistered variants

This geolinguistic study examines how frequently local words are used across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP) and how strongly they are tied to local identity. A 1720-participant sample was obtained using an online survey, whereby participants were asked to provide their hometown zip code and responses to five Likert rating scales (frequency of use and hearing the item, willingness to correct individual or group, and importance to identity) for the following words: camp, chook/toque, choppers, cudighi, pank, sisu, and swampers. The results show that the use and connections to identity for these words are correlated with specific geographic UP regions.

Jeffrey Reaser (North Carolina State University)

Beyond dialect awareness: Reframing students’ dialects as educational assets

Combining information from sociolinguistics with Freirean critical pedagogy, Critical Language Pedagogy (CLP) “guides students to critically examine the widely held assumptions, or ideologies, surrounding language and dialects, the power relationships such ideologies uphold, and ways to change these ideologies” (Godley & Reaser, 2018: 3). This talk both describes CLP and examines the ways over 300 pre-service teachers at 11 universities responded to an online mini-course introducing them to sociolinguistic information and CLP approaches. The results demonstrate that pre-service teachers evolved over the experience and emerged with deployable pedagogical strategies for empowering students to confront conventional standard language ideologies.

Paul E. Reed (University of Alabama)

Tracey Weldon-Stewart (University of South Carolina)

Bridget Anderson (Old Dominion University)

Questions, books, and time: Montgomery the colleague, mentor, and friend

Michael Montgomery was an eminent scholar and a cherished colleague, mentor, and friend. This presentation focuses on how Montgomery was able to impact the lives and scholarship of those that knew him at a personal level. Through engaging conversations, sharing of resources, and spending time, he was able to help clarify ideas and thoughts, to expand notions into research lines, and to support those around him. We will each share how Montgomery shaped our research through an “Appalachian English family” model of personal interactions and collaboration, emphasizing how Montgomery the man left an indelible mark.

Jennifer Renn (Purdue University)

Trish Morita-Mullaney (Purdue University)

Transformation through teacher education: The impact of an English Learner (EL) licensure program on teachers’ language attitudes

Prejudices and misconceptions about language diversity are a barrier to fair and equitable education for many minority students. Expanding teachers’ understanding of language is critical, as teachers who are accepting of EL students have more positive orientations toward diversity and bilingualism. We present the results of a study of 36 Indiana elementary teachers participating in a year-long online EL licensure program. Results from surveys and interviews show positive impacts on teachers’ beliefs as a result of the coursework, with many exhibiting more additive views of language diversity and modifying instruction to be more responsive to linguistically and culturally diverse students.

Julio Serrano (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana – Iztapalapa)

A perceptual dialectology of Mexican Spanish

This poster presents the results of a perceptual dialectology research of Mexican Spanish. Based on Folk Linguistics and Perceptual Dialectology, I’ve conducted a survey to a total of 60 informants in Mexico City. The results were used to draw a subjective dialectological map of the Spanish of Mexico. This map outlines four major dialects of Mexican Spanish: Central, Northern, Coastal and Yucatan Peninsula. The varied names the informants used to designate these dialectal regions and the perception of more correct and incorrect varieties are discused as well.

Lisa Sprowls (Tulane University)

Garden District English: Addressing a gap in the New Orleans dialect landscape

Garden District English (GDE) is a receding dialect associated with New Orleans’ upper-class white population. While previous research has discussed the city’s other dialects in depth – most notably Yat (working-class white English) – the existence of an upper-class (potentially Southern-sounding) dialect has never been fully examined. Analysis of speech samples shows that GDE mixes Standard, Southern, and Yat phonologies, with many speakers favoring a majority Southern-type system. However, speakers avoid self-identifying as Southern, viewing their speech as incompatible with their socioeconomic views of Southernness. This research shows how GDE fits among both the historical and contemporary linguistic landscapes of New Orleans.

Christopher Strelluf (University of Warwick)

Regional and grammatical distributions of need complements on Twitter

This research examines productions of passive constructions formed by need and a past participle (e.g., needs studied) or present participle (e.g., needs studying). It reports from more than 13,000 tweets from 50 cities in 13 English-speaking countries. Results confirm regional distributions for the past participle construction that have been mapped from grammaticality judgments. However, results also reveal substantial regional and syntactic variability in the present participle construction. Additionally, this research examines intraspeaker variation in selecting need-passives, and looks at “standard transitive” constructions built with the past and present participles (e.g., “We need it studied” vs. “We need it studying”).

Laurel Smith Stvan (University of Texas at Arlington)

Health advice speech acts via internet memes

One role that internet memes play is as indirect speech acts of advice; advice-giving memes represent peer-to-peer advice, using colloquial phrasing and suggesting advisor competence through shared experience (Placencia 2012). Structurally, memes are single-move exchanges. Recognized characters in image macros (McCulloch 2019) can signal authority. Yet memes can feature both sides of controversies, reflecting Placenica’s Disaffiliation and Affiliation relationships. This framework is applied to 125 health memes with the illocutionary force of advice gathered through Google image searches in 2018-19. Results suggest that tracking advice in memes can help public health workers gauge a community’s understanding of health beliefs.

Susan Tamasi (Emory University)

Behind every good doctor is a great linguist

Recent years have shown an increased number of calls for collaborations between linguists and other professions; however, there is still a lack of concrete information on how linguists can actually make these connections. This presentation presents three qualitative research projects undertaken with healthcare professionals, including analyses of: 1) decision-making in the OR, 2) linguistic choices in direct-to-patient messaging in radiology, and 3) social media discussions of patient perceptions of good health communication. Alongside the presentation of these studies, I highlight the necessary steps to take and pitfalls to avoid in working across the linguist/non-linguist divide.

Christina Tortora (City University of New York)

Syntactic observations of Appalachian English

Since the early 2000’s, interest in formal approaches to syntactic phenomena in Appalachian English has been growing steadily. This talk provides an overview of the advances made in syntactic theory as a result, by syntacticians such as Judy Bernstein, Frances Blanchette, Goldie Ann Dooley, Daniel Hasty, Corinne Hutchinson, Greg Johnson, Jim Wood, and Raffaella Zanuttini, among others. More importantly, I show that these authors and this exciting and burgeoning area of research have been directly inspired by Michael Montgomery’s contributions, most especially his rich and careful grammatical sketch in the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English (Montgomery & Hall 2004).

Phillip Weirich (Miami University)

Free classification of dialects in Indiana

This free classification study explores the interaction of residential history and dialectal variation in a state with a unified state identity and a range of distinct dialect regions. 108 listeners from the 4 major dialect regions of Indiana grouped talkers from 6 different parts of the state based on their perceived dialect similarity. Results of a clustering analysis showed that listeners sorted talkers into two general groups, a north and a south. The residential history of listeners influenced which talkers were included in the north and south groups.

Katie Welch (independent researcher)

Discovery learning in the sociolinguistics classroom: Using boojie to teach American English history

The field of linguistics often employs what Bruner (1968) coined Discovery Learning, an inquiry-based pedagogy in which “the principal content of what is to be learned is not given but must be independently discovered by the learner” (Ausubel 2012). This paper presents an example of how discovery learning can be utilized to teach sociolinguistics, both on a course-level and through individual assignments. The assignment in focus is an online scavenger hunt that allows students to discover the etymology of one slang term, boojie, with the goal of using this word’s history to make generalizations about American English as a whole.

Nathan A. Wendte (Tulane University)

Creative adaption of English loanwords in Louisiana Creole

Hegemonic pressure from American English, coupled with progressive language obsolescence, has led to many English borrowings into Louisiana Creole. Nevertheless, loanword adaptation strategies appear to vary according to a speaker’s proficiency level and history of language use. This study compares the morphological and phonological processes of loanword adaptation as attested and documented among a sample of Louisiana Creole speakers in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. Differences between fluent speakers and semi-speakers suggest that traits such as prosody may index “Creoleness” in the absence of lexical alterity.

Walt Wolfram (North Carolina State University)

Complicating the study of Appalachian English

Michael Montgomery’s legacy helped shape as well as problematize the study of Appalachian Englishes. From a reflexive perspective, I consider how Montgomery challenged several assumptions and perspectives, including (1) language myths and ideology in Appalachia; (2) regional, ethnic, class, and community diversity in the English of Appalachia; and (3) the complexity of sociolinguistic situations within the Southern highland region. Earlier studies often focused on linguistic-structural insight, whereas more recent investigations now center on the intersection of social, cultural, and identity factors that help give understanding to Montgomery’s claim that “Appalachia is a state of mind more than anything else.”

Jim Wood (Yale University)

Constructing syntactic dialects of American English

We apply dialectometry to syntactic acceptability judgments, showing how syntactic dialects can be constructed from the “ground up”. We averaged judgments for a set of constructions known to vary across speakers, including dative presentatives, done my homework, so don’t I, verbal rather and others. The results showed regional variation in both expected and surprising ways. We find a sharp North/South divide, and an area reminiscent of the “inner South” from Labov et al. 2006. However, some constructions contributing to these regions do not appear regional when analyzed independently, indicating that regions are characterized by complex clusters of syntactic properties.

What's this?

You are currently reading Schedule for Annual Conference in New Orleans, Jan. 2–5, 2020 at American Dialect Society.