Final Version of David Durian’s 2012 Dissertation Now Available

The final version of all chapters from David Durian’s 2012 Dissertation A New Perspective on Vowel Variation across the 19th and 20th Centuries in Columbus, OH are now available on his web site. In addition, a file containing the final version of the entire dissertation as one pdf can now also be downloaded. These files can be found here–http://www.ling.ohio-state.edu/~ddurian/Dissertation/.

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Split short-a system fest (Updated December, 2012)

Split short-a systems, in which /ae/ is argued to actually be present as two phonemes (/ae/ and /ae:/), have a long history of being discussed as they are found, both historically and in the present-day, along the US East Coast, particularly in cities such as New York City (Babbitt, 1896; Trager, 1930; 1940; Thomas, 1947; Hubbell, 1950; Bronstein, 1962; Berger, 1968; Cohen, 1970; Setzer, 1998; Becker and Wong, 2009; Becker, 2010) and Philadelphia (Ferguson, 1972; Labov, 1989). Yet a growing body of research in recent years has reported split-a systems and split-a like systems to be found in a diversity of other US locations historically–including Cincinnati (Boberg & Strassel, 1995, 2000); Columbus (Durian, 2010; 2012); Kansas City* (Lusk, 1976); New Orleans (Labov, 2007); and Southeastern Florida (Dinkin & Friesner, 2009). In addition, split systems have also been reported to occur historically more generally in more general geographic areas, including many portions of Southern and Central Ohio (Thomas, 2006); select areas in the Hudson Valley area of New York State (Dinkin, 2009); and generally across many portions of the Eastern US seaboard (Ash, 2002; and Johnson, 1998; see also the “oldies but goodies,” Emerson, 1891; Grandgent, 1892; and Tuttle, 1902).

In quite recent work, Erik Thomas, Charles Boberg, Stephanie Strassel and I have all found evidence of historical split-a systems throughout Central and Southern Ohio, specifically in Cincinnati (Boberg & Strassel, 1995, 2000) and Columbus (Durian, 2010, 2012), but more generally throughout many portions of Central and Southern OH, as well (Thomas, 2006). Given the results of these studies, particularly my own, I have found myself lately interested in learning more about split-a systems. Given that split a systems also appear to be being discovered in an increasingly diverse number of areas throughout the US, I thought this topic might also be of interest to a number of readers out there.

Thus, I have decided to present a series of articles on split short a systems which provide more or less a concise history of what we know about their occurrence and geographic distribution as of November, 2012 in the US. This series is presented below, with the readings divided up by geographic location in which the study occurred, and then chronologically within geographic location. For more on my own recent findings of split a systems in Columbus historically, see the related entry on my Century of Language Change in Columbus blog, as my work has yet to be published, and the dissertation chapter I am writing concerning this topic is still under development.

[* Note that this finding represents my own reinterpretation of Lusk’s findings. Lusk herself diagnoses the short a system to show Northern Cities Shift style raising, rather than split-system style raising.]

New York City

Babbitt, E. H. 1896. The English of the lower classes in New York City and vicinity. Dialect Notes, 1: 457-464. http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/AWAC/Babbitt_1896.pdf

Trager, George L. 1930. The pronunciation of “short “a” in American Standard English. American Speech, 5:396–400. http://www.jstor.org/stable/452819

Trager, George L. 1940. One phonemic entity becomes two: The case of “short a”. American Speech, 15:255–58. http://www.jstor.org/stable/486966

Thomas, C.K. 1947. The place of New York City in American linguistic geography. Quarterly Journal of Speech 33.3: 314-320.

Hubbell, Allan F. 1950. The pronunciation of English in New York City: Consonants and vowels. New York: Columbia University’s King’s Crown Press.

Bronstein, Arthur J. 1962. Let’s take another look at New York City Speech. American Speech, 37.1:13-26.

Berger, Marshall D. 1968. The internal dynamics of a metropolitan New York vocalic paradigm. American Speech, 43.1:40-50.

Cohen, Paul. 1970. The tensing and raising of short-a in the Metropolitan Area of
New York City.
Master’s thesis, Columbia University.

Setzer, Kenneth. 1998. The low front vowel /æ/ in the English of New York City: Theoretical implications in a nonstandard dialect. American Speech, 73: 329–336.

Becker, Kara, and Amy Wing-mei Wong. 2009. The short-a system of New York City English: An update. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics, 15.2: Selected papers from NWAV 37. pp. 11-20.

Becker, Kara. 2010. Chapter 5: Short-a. Social conflict and social practice on the Lower East Side: A study of regional dialect features in New York City English. Doctoral dissertation: New York University.

Philadelphia

Ferguson, Charles. 1972. ‘Short a’ in Philadelphia English. In M. Estellie Smith (Ed.), Studies in honor of George L. Trager. The Hague: Mouton. pp. 259-274. http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/AWAC/Ferguson_1972.pdf

Labov, William. 1989. An exact description of the speech community: Short a in Philadelphia. In Fasold, Ralph W., and Deborah Schiffrin (eds.), Language change and variation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. pp. 1-57.

East Coast More Generally

Emerson, Oliver F. 1891. The Ithaca dialect: A study of present English. Dialect Notes, 1: 85-173. http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/AWAC/Emerson_1891.pdf

Grandgent, Charles H. 1892. Haf and haef. Dialect Notes 1, 269-275. http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/AWAC/Grandgent_1892.pdf

Tuttle, Edwin. 1902. Phonetic notation. In Edward Scripture, Ed., Studies from the Yale Psychology Laboratory X:96-117.

Johnson, Daniel Ezra. 1998. The tensing and laxing of short ‘a’ in New Haven, Connecticut. B.A. thesis, Yale University. http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/AWAC/Johnson_1998.pdf

Ash, Sharon. 2002. The distribution of a phonemic split in the Mid-Atlantic region: Yet more on short a. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics, 8.3: Papers from NWAV 30. pp. 1-11.

Dinkin, Aaron. 2009. Chapter 4: Short-a phonology and the structure of the vowel space. Dialect boundaries and phonological change in upstate New York. Doctoral dissertation, The University of Pennsylvania. pp. 144-242.

Midwest (with particular emphasis on Ohio)

Lusk, Melanie. 1976. Phonological variation in Kansas City: A sociolinguistic analysis of three-generation families. Doctoral dissertation, University of Kansas. http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/AWAC/LWAA/Lusk 1976.pdf

Boberg, Charles, and Stephanie Strassel, 1995. Phonological change in Cincinnati. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics, 2.2:25-35.

Boberg, Charles, and Stephanie Strassel. 2000. Short-a in Cincinnati: A change in progress. Journal of English Linguistics, 28: 108-126.

Thomas, Erik R. 2006. Evidence from Ohio on the evolution of /ae/. In Murray, Thomas E., and Beth Lee Simon (Eds.), Language variation and change in the American Midland: A new look at “Heartland English.” Amsterdam: John Benjamins. pp. 69-89.

Durian, David. 2010. Is it Northern Cities or is it split? Reassessing the historical tensing and raising of /ae/ in Columbus in real and apparent time. Paper presented at Changelings (OSU Socio-Historical discussion group), Columbus, OH. http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/CLCC/Presentations.html

Durian, David. 2012. Chapter 6: The rise and fall of short-a in Columbus. A new perspective on vowel variation throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries in Columbus, OH. Doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University.

Various Locations (Focus on transmission and diffusion of short-a systems)

Labov, William. 2007. Transmission and diffusion. Language, 83: 344-387. http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/language/v083/83.2labov.pdf

Dinkin, Aaron, and Michael Friesner. 2009. Transmission or diffusion?: NYC-like short a in Southeast Florida and the Hudson Valley. Paper presented at NWAV 38, Ottawa, Canada. http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~dinkin/ShortAhandout.pdf

All files now restored

Access to all files that went missing a couple months back has now been restored! Enjoy!

Less Widely Available Archive (LWAA) Back Online

All documents in the Less Widely Available Archive, including all of NasalFest, are now back up online. I am still working on restoring files in other sections of the site, however.

Site File Loss

Okay, so it turns out there was a file loss on the server that supports this site, and this is why folks are having trouble accessing most PDFs on the site. I have been able to restore the underlying file structure, but the files themselves still need to be restored. This means I will have to repopulate the site one file at a time.

As of November 1, I am in the process of doing so, but I have a lot going on in my teaching and research life at the moment, so it will take a while to do so. There was 2 years of stuff posted here that needs to be replaced! Slowly but surely, the files will come back online though. Thanks for your patience.

In honor of Robert Stockwell

In honor of Robert Stockwell, we present an overview collection of his work, both on his own, and with Donka Minkova, on vowel shifting in English. Please see the resources below and take the time to look at some of them. He had some very interesting, and very unique, perspectives…

Minkova, Donka and Robert Stockwell. 2003. English vowel shifts and ‘optimal’ diphthongs: Is there a logical link? In D. Eric Holt (Ed.), Optimality Theory and language change. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishing. pp. 169-190. http://books.google.com/books?id=CYDkGiu8w5sC&pg=PA169&lpg=PA169&dq=English+vowel+shifts+and+optimal+diphthongs&source=bl&ots=byu47KYGOV&sig=-GNquzfsx_J-QfQtN3jVGUsBV5k&hl=en&ei=wBIZTbmLEZCHnAfMqqCrAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=English%20vowel%20shifts%20and%20optimal%20diphthongs&f=false

Stockwell, Robert. 2002. How much shifting occurred in the historical English vowel shift? In Donka Minkova and Robert Stockwell (Eds.), Studies in the history of the English Language: A millennial perspective. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. p. 267-281.http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/AWAC/Stockwell 2002.pdf

Stockwell, Robert, and Donka Minkova. 1999. Explanations of Sound Change: Contradictions between dialect data and theories of chain shifting. Leeds Studies in English XXX:83-102. http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/AWAC/Stockwell Minkova 1999.pdf

Stockwell, Robert, and Donka Minkova. 1997. On drifts and shifts. Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, 31:283-303. http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/AWAC/Stockwell_Minkova_1997.pdf

Stockwell, Robert. 1972. Problems in the interpretation of the Great Vowel Shift. In M. Estellie Smith, Ed., Studies in Linguistics in Honor of George Trager. Mouton: The Hague, Paris. pp. 344-362. http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/AWAC/stockwell 1972.pdf

RIP Dr Robert Stockwell

I am very sorry to hear this news. RIP Robert Stockwell…

From the UCLA Linguistics Web site (http://www.linguistics.ucla.edu/people/stockwel/stockwel.htm)

 

Our founding chair, Robert Stockwell, passed away October 28, 2012, following a long illness.

Bob was born June 12, 1925, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was educated at the University of Virginia, where he received a B.A. in English and Greek in 1946, an M.A. in English in 1949, and a Ph.D. in English Philology in 1952. He worked from 1952 to 1956 School of Languages of the Foreign Service Institute, where he developed highly effective pedagogical materials, grounded in linguistic theory, for the teaching of Spanish. Bob came to UCLA as an Assistant Professor in the English Department in 1956. He soon was marshaling the resources for an effective linguistics program: the Interdepartmental Program in linguistics was approved in 1960, followed by the Center for Research in Languages and Linguistics in 1963 and then full department status in 1966 — the same year Bob was promoted to Full Professor. For many years Bob served as the new department’s chair.

The department proved to be an intellectually very lively place, one to which strong faculty were readily attracted. With a number of important recruitments, the department rose in only a few years to scholarly eminence and thence to a very high national program ranking. Bob was also in the thick of the new department’s research activities, notably in his coauthorship of The Major Syntactic Structures of English (1973), with Paul Schachter and Barbara Partee, and also in his longstanding work (much of it with his colleague and later spouse Donka Minkova, UCLA English Department) on the history of English. As his health declined during the last few years we saw little of Bob, but the strong academic culture of the department he left behind has remained as an attestation of his work.

Durian and Gordon’s 2011 NWAV 40 Presentation Now Available

Here is a posting for the final of the NWAV 40 presentation slide shows that we will be posted to the site. This one is the overview presentation by Durian and Gordon for the whole “New Ways of Analyzing Vowel Shifts” double panel. Sticking with the theme, the presentation itself actually introduces some new material presenting new ways of looking at vowel shifts, rather than simply being an overview per se.

This show presents what we believe to be the first reference to “Third Dialect Shift” as a proper term for defining the vowel shift found in recent studies in Canada, the US Midland, and the US West, where LOT backs (and variably raises), TRAP backs, and DRESS also backs. The backing of LOT is often accompanied by merger with THOUGHT, but not always. This term for the Shift also appears in written form outside of this presentation in Durian’s forthcoming dissertation “A New Perspective on Vowel Variation throughout the 20th Century in Columbus, OH,” to be made available in December, 2012.

The slide show can be found here–http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/NWAV40/Durian_Gordon_NWAV40.pdf

Labov (1964) also available in the Less Widely Available Archive (LWAA)

The original dissertation version of Labov’s Social Stratification of English in New York City (from 1964) is now also available in the LWAA as of today. Note, it is 646 pages long (and 26.7 MB!), so may take a little time to download. This version is the one filed on microfilm as a part of the University Microfilms series.

Here is the direct link:

http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/AWAC/LWAA/Labov_1964.pdf

Hindle’s 1979 dissertation now available in the Less Widely Available Archive (LWAA)

By popular request, now available in the LWAA is Don Hindle’s The Social and Situational Conditioning of Phonetic Variation. Note that the scan quality on some pages is a bit dodgy–I don’t currently have access to the original to be able to fix the wonky pages. It can be found directly via this link below, as well as on the standard LWAA page.

http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/AWAC/LWAA/Hindle_1979.pdf

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