Lauren Hall-Lew Stanford University LSA 2009
ethnicity & region <ul><li>Increasing number of studies on regional variation and African American Language varieties  (Th...
neighborhood <ul><li>San Francisco </li></ul><ul><li>Sunset District </li></ul>You are here!
neighborhood <ul><li>98,450 residents </li></ul><ul><li>43% White </li></ul><ul><li>51% Asian </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>77...
neighborhood <ul><li>Location </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The Great Sand Bank” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>westernmost edge of ...
the neighborhood (1900)
the neighborhood (1936)
the neighborhood (2008)
neighborhood & ethnicity <ul><li>Identities & Ideologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mission Irish    Chinatown Chinese </li></...
neighborhood & ethnicity <ul><li>Identities & Ideologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asian/Chinese    local & authentic </li></...
fieldwork <ul><li>January — June 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>88 sociolinguistic interviews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1-on-1 in home...
speaker inclusion <ul><li>living in the Sunset since at least age 5 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>so all at least 2 nd  generation...
speakers analyzed <ul><li>interview data only </li></ul><ul><li>24 speakers </li></ul><ul><li>stratified for age, ethnicit...
variables <ul><li>vocalization of /l/ </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Emiko, Japanese American, age 65 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><...
L-vocalization <ul><ul><li>Change-in-progress in other U.S. locations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Pittsburgh, McElhinn...
L-vocalization method
L-vocalization method <ul><li>social factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asian American* vs. European American* </li></ul></ul><...
L-vocalization results
L-vocalization summary
back vowel fronting <ul><li>Known feature of California English  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Luthin 1987, Hagiwara 1997) </li><...
back vowel fronting *Same calculation for post-apical, or ‘TOO’, vowels
fronting results: BOAT Age % front Monica      Jane (BEET) (BOWL) Age is a significant correlate at p < 0.05
fronting results: TOO Age % front    Jane Age is NOT a significant correlate, nor is ethnicity; there is a slight trend f...
fronting results: BOOT Age % front    Jane Age is NOT a significant correlate, nor is sex or ethnicity
back vowel fronting summary <ul><li>/o w / </li></ul><ul><ul><li>age stratification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>change-in-p...
back vowel  backing <ul><li>Variable production of  backed  back vowels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul></ul><ul...
interaction <ul><li>Might vocalization motivate fronting?  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Labov 1994: 332; cited in Thomas 2001: 5...
results
ethnicity & region <ul><li>The Sunday’s social history & positionality </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic practices indexical of loc...
thanks Penny Eckert, John Rickford, Meghan Sumner, Miyako Inoue, Rebecca Starr, Rebecca Greene, Laura Staum Casasanto, Sta...
sources cited <ul><li>Anderson, Bridget. 2002. “Dialect leveling and /ai/ monophthongization among African American Detroi...
fieldwork nitty gritty <ul><li>contacting speakers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sunset Newsletter / Community Center ads </li></u...
neighborhood & speakers
fieldwork nitty gritty <ul><li>equipment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Zoom H2 solid state recorder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li...
vocalization nitty gritty <ul><li>token inclusion criteria </li></ul><ul><ul><li>minimum duration V+/l/ = 60ms </li></ul><...
fronting nitty-gritty <ul><li>at least 10 tokens of each vowel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>at least 5 tokens per phonological en...
other lx variables <ul><li>Other California Vowel Shift variables: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>low back vowel merger (analysis i...
other social variables <ul><li>immigration history details </li></ul><ul><ul><li>heritage country / region </li></ul></ul>...
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Ethnicity and Phonetic Variation in a San Francisco Neighborhood

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A report on my sociolinguistic dissertation work-in-progress examining San Francisco English pronunciation among Asian Americans and European Americans in the residential neighborhood known as the Sunset District.

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  • Ethnicity and Phonetic Variation in a San Francisco Neighborhood

    1. 1. Lauren Hall-Lew Stanford University LSA 2009
    2. 2. ethnicity & region <ul><li>Increasing number of studies on regional variation and African American Language varieties (Thomas 1989; Anderson 2002; Fridland 2003b; Childs & Mallinson 2004; Eberhart 2008a) </li></ul><ul><li>Few studies on Asian American English varieties, fewer still on regional variation (but see Wong 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Today </li></ul><ul><ul><li>indices of Asianness & California sound change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>one variable of each </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the interaction of the two </li></ul></ul></ul>
    3. 3. neighborhood <ul><li>San Francisco </li></ul><ul><li>Sunset District </li></ul>You are here!
    4. 4. neighborhood <ul><li>98,450 residents </li></ul><ul><li>43% White </li></ul><ul><li>51% Asian </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>77% of those are Chinese </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>52% speak a language other than English at home </li></ul>
    5. 5. neighborhood <ul><li>Location </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The Great Sand Bank” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>westernmost edge of The West </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social history </li></ul><ul><ul><li>affordable single-family homes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>upwardly-mobile San Franciscans </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identities & Ideologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>pride, local authenticity </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. the neighborhood (1900)
    7. 7. the neighborhood (1936)
    8. 8. the neighborhood (2008)
    9. 9. neighborhood & ethnicity <ul><li>Identities & Ideologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mission Irish  Chinatown Chinese </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sociolinguistic consequences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>community ideologies may transcend ethnicity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ethnic indices may take on local meanings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>regional variables may not vary with ethnicity </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. neighborhood & ethnicity <ul><li>Identities & Ideologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asian/Chinese  local & authentic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mary, European American, age 29 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ All I wanted to be when I was 13 was a 5-foot tall Asian girl who could break dance!” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>April, European American, age 18 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The only thing really- that kind of sucks is that, like my family doesn't give out, like money in [red] envelopes, which I think they should start doing, but um, (laughter) yeah. I- I- 'Cause that was, that was, a lot, that was, that was a big part of like, you know, what I was like exposed to growing up, so, I got kind of, you know, used to it. Like that was my, that was with my element.” </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. fieldwork <ul><li>January — June 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>88 sociolinguistic interviews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1-on-1 in homes or offices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>30min biographical history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>30min neighborhood attitudes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1pg reading passage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1pg list of 80 minimal pairs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Semi-ethnographic participant-observation </li></ul>
    12. 12. speaker inclusion <ul><li>living in the Sunset since at least age 5 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>so all at least 2 nd generation American </li></ul></ul><ul><li>speaking English as their primary language since at least age 5 </li></ul><ul><li>or, living in SF since birth, in the Sunset for several decades, and currently </li></ul><ul><ul><li>only used for speakers age 50+ </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. speakers analyzed <ul><li>interview data only </li></ul><ul><li>24 speakers </li></ul><ul><li>stratified for age, ethnicity, M/F </li></ul>
    14. 14. variables <ul><li>vocalization of /l/ </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Emiko, Japanese American, age 65 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Where I went to school there was, like… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Emily, Chinese American, age 37 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… market, with cold cereal , ya know, a butcher shop… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>fronting of /u w / and /o w / </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>April, European American, age 18 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I kind of associate that… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Monica, Chinese American, age 16 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Yeah I do, uh… </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. L-vocalization <ul><ul><li>Change-in-progress in other U.S. locations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Pittsburgh, McElhinny 1999; Philadelphia, Ash 1982; Ohio AAVE & EAE, Fix 2004 & 2008; Dodsworth 2006) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>& other English speaking communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(NZ & Australia, Horvath & Horvath 2002; SE UK, Johnson & Britain 2006) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Not previously documented in the West or in San Francisco </li></ul><ul><ul><li>not present in DeCamp 1953, who looked at 22 White & 3 Black speakers </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. L-vocalization method
    17. 17. L-vocalization method <ul><li>social factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asian American* vs. European American* </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>language use (before age 5 & currently) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>immigration generation (2-4) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>age, & M vs. F </li></ul></ul><ul><li>phonological factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>coda vs. coda-cluster; syllabic vs. non-syllabic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>preceding & following environment </li></ul></ul>*Most Asian Americans in this sample are Chinese American, but some are Japanese American or part Korean or part Filipino. Most European Americans in this sample do not specify a particular ethnicity, aside from Irish Americans, whose productions were not significantly different.
    18. 18. L-vocalization results
    19. 19. L-vocalization summary
    20. 20. back vowel fronting <ul><li>Known feature of California English </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Luthin 1987, Hagiwara 1997) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Known conditioning environments: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>preceding apicals (TOO) promote fronting of /u w / and are separate from other environments (BOOT) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>following nasals inhibit fronting of /o w / and were excluded from the current analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>following liquids (COOL, BOWL) inhibit fronting of both /u w / & /o w / and are separate in this analysis </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. back vowel fronting *Same calculation for post-apical, or ‘TOO’, vowels
    22. 22. fronting results: BOAT Age % front Monica   Jane (BEET) (BOWL) Age is a significant correlate at p < 0.05
    23. 23. fronting results: TOO Age % front  Jane Age is NOT a significant correlate, nor is ethnicity; there is a slight trend for Females > Males at p < 0.09
    24. 24. fronting results: BOOT Age % front  Jane Age is NOT a significant correlate, nor is sex or ethnicity
    25. 25. back vowel fronting summary <ul><li>/o w / </li></ul><ul><ul><li>age stratification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>change-in-progress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>no gender differences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>no ethnic differences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>/u w / </li></ul><ul><ul><li>no age stratification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>phonological conditioning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>suggestive gender difference within post-apicals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>no ethnic differences </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. back vowel backing <ul><li>Variable production of backed back vowels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… people who have… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… I don’t know , like… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Possible interference with sound change? </li></ul><ul><li>Irregular and infrequent use, across most speakers in the sample </li></ul><ul><li>Social meaning?? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Possible links to ethnicity are not borne out </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links to types of strong affect seem likely (Eckert 2008) , but what’s the impact on fronting? </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. interaction <ul><li>Might vocalization motivate fronting? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Labov 1994: 332; cited in Thomas 2001: 56) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>pre-L (TOOL) vowel class vs. other (TOO, TOOT) vowel class </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dodsworth 2005: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ a subtle pattern in the opposite direction” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Sunset District: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>vocalization ≠ change in progress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fronting = change in progress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but vocalization most frequent after back, round vowels </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. results
    29. 29. ethnicity & region <ul><li>The Sunday’s social history & positionality </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic practices indexical of local authenticity </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Ethnic’ practices available to the wider neighborhood community; regional practices available to all ethnicities </li></ul><ul><li>Complicates the notion of a single regional dialect distinct from ethnolects </li></ul><ul><li>Rather, place and ethnicity intertwined through local meanings, co-indexed in speech </li></ul>
    30. 30. thanks Penny Eckert, John Rickford, Meghan Sumner, Miyako Inoue, Rebecca Starr, Rebecca Greene, Laura Staum Casasanto, Stacy Lewis, Katie Drager, Douglas Kenter, Rachel Cristy, Tyler Kendall, Robin Dodsworth, Sonya Fix, Bartek Plichta, Liz Coppock, Mary Rose, Rob Podesva, Kathryn Campbell-Kibler, Carmen Fought, Malcah Yaeger-Dror, & the gracious residents past and present of San Francisco’s Sunset District
    31. 31. sources cited <ul><li>Anderson, Bridget. 2002. “Dialect leveling and /ai/ monophthongization among African American Detroiters.” Journal of Sociolinguistics, 6, 86-98.11 </li></ul><ul><li>Childs, Becky, & Mallinson, Christine. 2004. “African American English in Appalachia: Dialect accommodation and substrate influence.” English World-Wide, 251, 27-50. </li></ul><ul><li>DeCamp, David. 1953 [1971]. “The pronunciation of English in San Francisco.” In Williamson and Burke, eds. A various language: perspectives on American dialects. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. 549-569 </li></ul><ul><li>Robin Dodsworth, Bartlomiej Plichta & David Durian. 2006. An Acoustic Study of Columbus /l/ Vocalization. NWAV 36. </li></ul><ul><li>Dodsworth, Robin. 2005a. Attribute networking: A technique for modeling social perceptions. Journal of sociolinguistics 9, 2.: 226-254. </li></ul><ul><li>Dodsworth, Robin. 2005b. Linguistic Variation And Sociological Consciousness. PhD Dissertation, Dept of Linguistics, The Ohio State University. </li></ul><ul><li>Eberhardt, Maeve. 2008a. “The Low-Back Merger in the Steel City: African American English and Pittsburgh Speech.” American Speech, 833, 284-311. </li></ul><ul><li>Eckert, Penelope. 2008. “Getting emotional about social meaning in variation.” Paper presented at NWAV 37, Nov. 8, 2008, in Houston, TX </li></ul><ul><li>Fix, Sonya. 2008. “Beyond stereotypes: white women, black worlds, linguistic variation and style.” NWAV 37, Nov. 8, 2008, in Houston, TX </li></ul><ul><li>Fix, Sonya. 2004. “/l/ vocalization and racial integration of social networks: Sociolinguistic variation among whites in a Columbus, Ohio community.” Poster presented at NWAV 33, Oct. 1, 2003, Ann Arbor, MI </li></ul><ul><li>Fridland, Valerie. 2003b. 'Tie, tied and tight': The expansion of /ai/ monophthongization in African-American and European-American speech in Memphis, Tennessee. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 73, 279-298 </li></ul><ul><li>Hinton, Leanne, Sue Bremmer, Hazel Corcoran, Jean Learner, Herb Luthin, Birch Moonwomon, and Mary van Clay. 1987. “It’s not just Valley Girls: A study of California English.” Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society. 13: 117-127. </li></ul><ul><li>Labov, William. 1994. Principles of linguistic change. Volume 1, Internal factors. Oxford: Blackwell. </li></ul><ul><li>Luthin, Herbert W. 1987. “The Story of California /ow/: The Coming-of-Age of English in California.” Denning, Keith M. et al., (eds.) Variation in Language NWAV-XV at Stanford: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Conference on New Ways of Analyzing Variation. </li></ul><ul><li>Moonwomon, Birch. 1992. “Sound Change in San Francisco English.” PhD Dissertation, Dept of Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas, Erik R. 2001. An acoustic analysis of vowel variation in New World English. Publication of the American Dialect Society. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas, Erik. 1989 [1993]. Vowel changes in Columbus, Ohio. Journal of English Linguistics, 222, 205-215. </li></ul>
    32. 32. fieldwork nitty gritty <ul><li>contacting speakers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sunset Newsletter / Community Center ads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>friend-of-friend / snowball technique </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>other techniques yielded just a couple people </li></ul></ul><ul><li>semi-ethnographic activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>neighborhood meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>community festivals, historic walks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>merchant association meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>public libraries, parks, recreational areas </li></ul></ul>
    33. 33. neighborhood & speakers
    34. 34. fieldwork nitty gritty <ul><li>equipment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Zoom H2 solid state recorder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>built-in microphone, 90° unidirectional input, ‘mono mix’ of stereo default </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>44.1 kHz sampling frequency, downsampled on Audacity to 11 kHz for analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>backup recording made on laptop using Macintosh iBook built-in microphone, recorded onto Audacity at 11 kHz </li></ul></ul>
    35. 35. vocalization nitty gritty <ul><li>token inclusion criteria </li></ul><ul><ul><li>minimum duration V+/l/ = 60ms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>min 5 tokens / environment & max 5 tokens of the same lexical item / ~30 tokens per person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>excluded: ambisyllabic /l/, /_l/ before /l_/, known variable tokens like palm, folk, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>other statistical concerns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>syllabic vs. other </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>need to re-run stats without syllabic tokens to really know what’s going on with effects from preceding vowel features and coda vs. coda-cluster environments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>also, syllabic tokens can’t currently be dealt with using available acoustic methods (Dodsworth et al. 2006) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>skewing by high frequency tokens: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g., occurrences of school, alone, are potentially responsible for results for [+high] [+back] </li></ul></ul></ul>
    36. 36. fronting nitty-gritty <ul><li>at least 10 tokens of each vowel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>at least 5 tokens per phonological environment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>onset taken after 2 nd vocal pulse; offset taken at 2 nd -to-last vocal pulse </li></ul><ul><li>minimum duration 50ms </li></ul><ul><li>formant values taken using LPC via Akustyk for Praat (Plichta 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>subset (~10%) of tokens checked by hand </li></ul><ul><li>Lobanov Speaker Extrinsic means calculated using NORM (Thomas & Kendall 2007) </li></ul>
    37. 37. other lx variables <ul><li>Other California Vowel Shift variables: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>low back vowel merger (analysis in progress) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lowering of /ɛ/ to /æ/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>raising of /æN/ & backing of /æ/ elsewhere </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other ‘Asian American’ variables: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>final /θ/  /f/ (2 speakers, categorical) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>final stop deletion (impressionistic) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>rate-of-speech variance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Potential ‘Irish American’ variable: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CAR-CORE merger </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some ‘tough guy’ (Mission/Chinatown) variables! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>initial /θ, ð/  /t, d/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>strong initial /r/ </li></ul></ul>
    38. 38. other social variables <ul><li>immigration history details </li></ul><ul><ul><li>heritage country / region </li></ul></ul><ul><li>language background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>subsequent exposure & regular use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>if Chinese, what Chinese dialect / language? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>childhood experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>friendship cohorts = mixed- or monoracial? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>current network composition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>native SF/Sunset residents vs. others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ethnicity; immigrant vs. American born </li></ul></ul><ul><li>attitudes toward Asians </li></ul><ul><li>attitudes toward neighborhood change </li></ul><ul><li>attitudes toward Asian-accented Englishes </li></ul><ul><li>religion & private vs. public school </li></ul>

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