Vowel variation, style, and identity construction in the English of Latinos in Washington, D.C.
This study investigates the interrelationship of language, identity, and /ae/ (“ash”) variation along the first-formant (F1) and second-formant (F2) dimensions, in first- and second- generation Latinos in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. /ae/ was selected since Latino English /ae/ tends to be lower and more backed than in general American English, particularly in pre-nasal context. Methods integrate quantitative analysis of social and stylistic patterning of /ae/ variation and qualitative analysis of how speakers use these features to convey and shape social and personal meanings in interaction. The relationship between style, social factors, and substrate-related phonetic variation in emergent dialects has important implications for language system development and social identity construction in situations of bilingualism and language contact. Specific research questions were 1) how does /ae/, a phonological feature showing a well-documented distinction between Chicano English and general American English varieties, vary in the English of Washington, D.C. Latinos? 2) How does /ae/ variation contribute to stylistic variation and interactional construction of identity in sociolinguistic interviews and other interactional contexts? Quantitative mixed-model statistical regression analysis addressed inter-speaker and topic-related variation in sociolinguistic interviews and self-recorded data. Results showed that low, backed /ae/ is stylistically active among Washington, D.C.-area Latinos. Changing settlement patterns are also reflected in the data. Suburban participants show a lower realization of /ae/ than residents of D.C. proper (p
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Phonological Variation at the Intersection of Ethnoracial Identity, Place, and Style in Washington, D.C. Nylund, Anastasia (Georgetown University, 2013)This dissertation examines phonological variation in Washington, DC, which has remained under-explored in urban sociolinguistics. The paucity of research on language in DC relates to its dialectal marginality, its unique ...