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The English Language in Canada: Status, History and Comparative Analysis

Charles Boberg1
26 Aug 2010-
TL;DR: The authors provide a framework for original studies of English, both present-day and past, and provide theoretical and descriptive contributions to our knowledge of national varities of English language, both written and spoken.
Abstract: Studies in english language. The aim of this series is to provide a framework for original studies of English, both present-day and past. All books are based surely on empirical research, and represent theoretical and descriptive contributions to our knowledge of national varities of English, both written and spoken. The series covers a broad range of topics and approaches, including syntax, phonology, grammar, vocabulary, discourse, pragmatics and sociolinguistics, and is aimed at an international readership.

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Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article found that flip-flop between the cot and caught vowels occurs for two speakers in a recent sample from San Francisco, California, and found that the two speakers who produce flipflop are seen to represent a key transitional generation with respect to the ethnic identity of the neighborhood.
Abstract: During a merger-in-progress, occasionally one or two speakers will exhibit an unusual phonological pattern reminiscent of flip-flop (Labov et al. 1972). In such cases, the merging vowels appear to move past the point of coalescence in at least one phonetic dimension; difference is maintained but the vowel quality is opposite to the historical pattern on one or both dimensions. Flip-flop between the cot and caught vowels occurs for two speakers in a recent sample from San Francisco, California. The community shows robust change in progress toward a lower and fronter caught vowel nucleus, and no change in apparent time for cot. Further analysis shows that this is leading to a change in apparent time toward merger, and that the rate of vowel convergence is stronger among Chinese Americans than European Americans. The two speakers who produce flip-flop are seen to represent a key transitional generation with respect to the ethnic identity of the neighborhood, where flip-flop may be but one linguistic consequence of a lifetime of active negotiation between conflicting local meanings. The analysis suggests that ethnographic detail and attention to individual outliers allows for more comprehensive models of the range of phenomena associated with vowel mergers.

45 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2013
TL;DR: The authors reviewed statistical and graphical evidence of dynamic formant patterns in vowels of several CV and CVC syllable types in three regional dialects of English: Dallas, Texas (Assmann and Katz, 2000), Western Michigan (Hillenbrand et al., 1995) and Northern Alberta (Thomson 2007).
Abstract: Nearey and Assmann (1986) coined the term ‘vowel inherent spectral change’ (VISC) to refer to change in spectral properties inherent to the phonetic specification of vowels. Although such change includes the relatively large formant changes associated with acknowledged diphthongs, the term was explicitly intended to include reliable (but possibly more subtle) spectral change associated with vowel categories of North American English typically regarded as monophthongs. This chapter reviews statistical and graphical evidence of dynamic formant patterns in vowels of several CV and CVC syllable types in three regional dialects of English: Dallas, Texas (Assmann and Katz, 2000), Western Michigan (Hillenbrand et al., 1995) and Northern Alberta (Thomson 2007). Evidence is reviewed for the importance of VISC in vowel perception. While certain apparent VISC patterns show up across dialects, both dialect differences and differences in context make it clear that more sophisticated methods will be required to fully separate several factors affecting formant change in vowels. Promising preliminary results are presented using a new non-linear regression method that extends compositional models of Broad and Clermont (1987, 2002, 2010) to include dual vowel targets.

37 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Evidence is presented that the soccer fans in this speech community produce variants more consistent with Standard American English when talking about American football than English soccer, and exposure to both American and British English, being a fan of both sports, and task may mediate these effects.
Abstract: Can the topic of a conversation, when heavily associated with a particular dialect region, influence how a speaker realizes a linguistic variable? We interviewed fans of English Premier League soccer at a pub in Columbus, Ohio. Nine speakers of British English and eleven speakers of American English were interviewed about their favorite American football and English soccer teams. We present evidence that the soccer fans in this speech community produce variants more consistent with Standard American English when talking about American football than English soccer. Specifically, speakers were overall more /r/-ful (F3 values were lower in rhotic environments) when talking about their favorite American football team. Numeric trends in the data also suggest that exposure to both American and British English, being a fan of both sports, and task may mediate these effects.

33 citations


Cites background from "The English Language in Canada: Sta..."

  • ...Rhoticity was selected because it is one of the most salient differences between Standard American English (SAE) and Standard British English (BrE)1; speakers of SAE typically pronounce an /r/ in words like cart, while speakers of BrE do not (Boberg, 2010)....

    [...]

01 Jul 2019

32 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors describe a method developed for the second edition of the Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles (DCHP-2 ) using site-restricted web searches in combination with long-term web monitoring, the method rests on a normalization routine that produces "frequency indices" that are comparable across domains.
Abstract: One of the biggest desiderata in practical lexicography is the labeling of lexemes by region in the widest sense of that word. In a highly mobile world, regional labeling is bound to receive more attention, yet is perhaps the least precise aspect of English dictionaries more generally. Largely comprising two groups—national terms, such as Americanism or Briticism, and regional terms of a certain more local provenance, such as Southwestern Ontario or Scottish—regional labeling in English dictionaries suffers from both a theoretical neglect and a practical lack of adequate data for dictionary editors to use easily in assessing a term’s geographical dimensions. This paper describes a method developed for the second edition of the Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles ( DCHP-2 ). Using site-restricted web searches in combination with long-term web monitoring, the method rests on a normalization routine that produces “Frequency Indices” that are comparable across domains. Counter to recent lexicographic best practices, it is shown that web-scaled resources—generally preferred by computational linguists and computational lexicographers as both clean and large—are not yet adequate for this task. For better or worse, the unfiltered, messy web, when used with routines and heuristic reasoning that are checked with certain fail-safes, offers the best chance for attaining geographical information on large numbers of items that would otherwise be labeled subjectively or not at all.

31 citations

References
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Book
01 Jan 1997
TL;DR: The future of global English References Index List of tables as mentioned in this paper is a collection of tables about the future of English references in the English language and its historical context, cultural foundation, and cultural legacy.
Abstract: Preface 1. Why a global language? 2. Why English? The historical context 3. Why English? The cultural foundation 4. Why English? The cultural legacy 5. The future of global English References Index List of tables.

3,513 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Control methods used in the evaluation of effects of language and dialectal backgrounds and vocal and auditory characteristics of the individuals concerned in a vowel study program at Bell Telephone Laboratories are discussed.
Abstract: Relationships between a listener's identification of a spoken vowel and its properties as revealed from acoustic measurement of its sound wave have been a subject of study by many investigators. Both the utterance and the identification of a vowel depend upon the language and dialectal backgrounds and the vocal and auditory characteristics of the individuals concerned. The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the control methods that have been used in the evaluation of these effects in a vowel study program at Bell Telephone Laboratories. The plan of the study, calibration of recording and measuring equipment, and methods for checking the performance of both speakers and listeners are described. The methods are illustrated from results of tests involving some 76 speakers and 70 listeners.

2,909 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Analysis of the formant data shows numerous differences between the present data and those of PB, both in terms of average frequencies of F1 and F2, and the degree of overlap among adjacent vowels.
Abstract: This study was designed as a replication and extension of the classic study of vowel acoustics by Peterson and Barney (PB) [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 24, 175–184 (1952)]. Recordings were made of 50 men, 50 women, and 50 children producing the vowels /i, i, eh, ae, hooked backward eh, inverted vee), a, open oh, u, u/ in h–V–d syllables. Formant contours for F1–F4 were measured from LPC spectra using a custom interactive editing tool. For comparison with the PB data, formant patterns were sampled at a time that was judged by visual inspection to be maximally steady. Preliminary analysis shows numerous differences between the present data and those of PB, both in terms of average formant frequencies for vowels, and the degree of overlap among adjacent vowels. As with the original study, listening tests showed that the signals were nearly always identified as the vowel intended by the talker.

1,891 citations

MonographDOI
08 Apr 1982
TL;DR: This article provided a synthesizing introduction, which showed how accents vary not only geographically, but also with social class, formality, sex and age; and in volumes 2 and 3 the author examined in greater depth the various accents used by people who speak English as their mother tongue: the accents of the regions of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland (volume 2), and of the USA, Canada, the West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Black Africa and the Far East (volume 3).
Abstract: Accents of English is about the way English is pronounced by different people in different places. Volume 1 provides a synthesizing introduction, which shows how accents vary not only geographically, but also with social class, formality, sex and age; and in volumes 2 and 3 the author examines in greater depth the various accents used by people who speak English as their mother tongue: the accents of the regions of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland (volume 2), and of the USA, Canada, the West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Black Africa and the Far East (volume 3). Each volume can be read independently, and together they form a major scholarly survey, of considerable originality, which not only includes descriptions of hitherto neglected accents, but also examines the implications for phonological theory. Readers will find the answers to many questions: Who makes 'good' rhyme with 'mood'? Which accents have no voiced sibilants? How is a Canadian accent different from an American one, a New Zealand one from an Australian one, a Jamaican one from a Barbadian one? What are the historical reasons for British-American pronunciation differences? What sound changes are currently in progress in New York, in London, in Edinburgh? Dr Wells his written principally for students of linguistics, phonetics and English language, but the motivated general reader will also find the study both fascinating and rewarding.

1,700 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
01 Jan 1963-WORD
TL;DR: The authors discuss dialect mixture, obsolescence and replacement, and show a very keen concern with the social mechanism of linguistic change, and include pejorativeracial terms in their discussion of dialect mixture.
Abstract: graphyand settlementhistory of Texas.His inclusionof pejorativeracial terms is a very valuable contribution. His discussion of dialect mixture, obsolescenceand replacement, shows a very keen concern with the social mechanism of linguistic change. The many students of American English who will use these materials must feel a very real senseof obligation towards the author for these advances,as well as for his successin ■tting this very large piece of the American puzzle into place.

1,394 citations