My short report, Media and Second Dialect Acquisition, is now published online at Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. Sociolinguistic research suggests that traditional broadcast media (i.e. TV) doesn’t seem to affect people’s accents much, at least not in a way that’s easy to empirically document; at the same time, phonetics research has shown that participants will measurably shift their accents towards ambient recorded voices. What gives? In this paper, I explore this disconnect and suggest some possibilities for future research exploring new/social media and its effect on accent.
Just back from an excellent trip to the Netherlands! After jaunts in Amsterdam, Leiden, and the eastern countryside, we headed up to Leeuwarden for ICLaVE 10 where I gave my talk, A difference without a distinction? How speakers split word classes without acquiring new categories. My talk was part of a larger panel on phonemic splits organized by Sandra Jansen and Natalie Braber - thanks to both for inviting me to be a part of it!
My article Stylistic variation among mobile speakers: Using old and new regional variables to construct complex place identity has just been published in Language Variation and Change! In this paper I examine whether Canadians living in U.S. cities (NYC and DC) adjust their use of regionally varying vowels depending on how they talk about place (short answer: yes, but only if vowel/place links are socially salient).
I’ve also just returned from a great trip to NYC for NWAV 47, held at NYU, where I presented a talk titled What Do We Mean by Structure?: Mobile Speakers and the (Non-)Coherence of Chain Shifts and had a lot of fun catching up with friends and colleagues from my PhD alma mater!
In July I gave a keynote talk, Transnational Mobility and Accent Change: Theoretical and Methodological Opportunities for Sociophonetics, at the 2nd Workshop on Sociophonetic Variability in the English Varieties of Australia in Brisbane. Here's me during that talk, presenting some early findings from my NSF project!
And here are a couple of cuddly koalas I saw at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary during my trip: