For the first time in a few years, I did not attend the ADS/LSA annual meetings. It would have been nice to hang out in New Orleans this weekend. However, my research will still be represented: my colleagues presented some research focusing on Southern American English vowels that I’ve been a part of this year.
Friday’s ADS poster on Southern American English vowels
Friday morning at the American Dialect Society poster session, Bill Kretzschmar presented some research on behalf of the entire Linguistic Atlas research team at UGA (Peggy Renwick, Katie Kuiper, Lisa Lipani, Mike Olsen, Rachel Olsen, and me). In it he presents findings from our now-complete dataset from the Digital Archive of Southern Speech. With a dataset this size, we can make comparisons to other varieties of American English regarding the distribution of vowels in the F1-F2 space.
Sunday’s LSA presentation on formant trajectories
Sunday, Peggy Renwick presented our research on formant dynamics of back vowels in Southern American English vowels. Focusing on just the Caucasian Americans in the Digital Archive of Southern Speech (DASS), we wanted to see how formant trajectory shapes and their relative positions vary across male and female speakers in different generations. Many of our findings can be summarized in this animation:
doesn’t change much, especially for the women, suggesting
Something that stands out to me is that each vowel’s trajectory didn’t change all that much over time. This wasn’t a product of how our GAMM was specified: each combination of vowel, sex, and generation was interacted and therefore, fit independently of the other. So the fact that the trajectories show remarkable stability is really interesting to me. So, at least among these DASS speakers, Southern American English vowels appear to shift the nucleus and glide in tandem.