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ANALYZING VOWEL VARIATION BY THE NUMBERS: An Acoustic Analysis of Vowel Variation in New World English

ANALYZING VOWEL VARIATION BY THE NUMBERS: An Acoustic Analysis of Vowel Variation in New World... lowing principally the 1993 revision of the International Phonetic Alphabet, which is reproduced in appendix B of the text. While detailed phonetic representations are included in the discussion, phonemic representations are used in the plots. The phonemic representations are arbitrary symbols, notes the author, which represent a set of historically related variants and should not be construed as phonological representations connected to a particular phonological theory. Rather than indicating all tokens for a particular speaker, the vowel plots indicate the mean value of tokens measured for each vowel by a filled square. Representing mean values rather than all individual tokens, Thomas argues, makes it possible for the glide trajectory of diphthongs to be clearly indicated in the plot. As he notes, detailed information on glides of diphthongs, “neglected in past sociophonetic studies,” is “vital to understanding dialectal variation and sound change” (8). Information on standard deviation for each vowel is not included. The author’s rationale for these decisions, and its drawbacks, is addressed below. Approximately 150–200 vowels, selected from reading passages and casual conversation, were measured for each speaker, using median linear predictive (LPC) values and harmonic estimation methods on a variety of equipment. Chapter 2, “Vowel Variants http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Speech: A Quarterly of Linguistic Usage Duke University Press

ANALYZING VOWEL VARIATION BY THE NUMBERS: An Acoustic Analysis of Vowel Variation in New World English

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2004 by American Dialect Society
ISSN
0003-1283
eISSN
1527-2133
DOI
10.1215/00031283-79-3-317
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

lowing principally the 1993 revision of the International Phonetic Alphabet, which is reproduced in appendix B of the text. While detailed phonetic representations are included in the discussion, phonemic representations are used in the plots. The phonemic representations are arbitrary symbols, notes the author, which represent a set of historically related variants and should not be construed as phonological representations connected to a particular phonological theory. Rather than indicating all tokens for a particular speaker, the vowel plots indicate the mean value of tokens measured for each vowel by a filled square. Representing mean values rather than all individual tokens, Thomas argues, makes it possible for the glide trajectory of diphthongs to be clearly indicated in the plot. As he notes, detailed information on glides of diphthongs, “neglected in past sociophonetic studies,” is “vital to understanding dialectal variation and sound change” (8). Information on standard deviation for each vowel is not included. The author’s rationale for these decisions, and its drawbacks, is addressed below. Approximately 150–200 vowels, selected from reading passages and casual conversation, were measured for each speaker, using median linear predictive (LPC) values and harmonic estimation methods on a variety of equipment. Chapter 2, “Vowel Variants

Journal

American Speech: A Quarterly of Linguistic UsageDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2004

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