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Saturday, October 12 • 1:40pm - 2:05pm
Thomas & Mielke: Phonetic processes behind Canadian Raising of /aj/ in eastern Ohio

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Phonetic processes behind Canadian Raising of /aj/ in eastern Ohio

“Canadian raising” of /aj/ has spread widely in the United States over the past hundred years, and the eastern half of Ohio represents a microcosm of the change.  DARE informants born before World War I were compared with subjects from a survey of eastern Ohioans born after 1970.  Although the DARE informants showed little evidence of the process, it is widespread among the younger group, indicating a rapid progress.  In non-pre-voiceless contexts, the nucleus exhibits something close to a steady-state that is usually absent before voiceless consonants.  The degree of Canadian raising depends on the measurement point—i.e., what is defined as the “nucleus”—because F1 does not reach its highest value at the beginning of the near-steady-state.  Its absence before voiceless consonants has allowed the nucleus in that context to be pulled closer to the already higher glide. 

Session abstract: American Raising
On-going work by various researchers finds that the raising of the diphthong /aɪ/ to [ʌɪ] before voiceless consonants is becoming widespread in the US, occurring in many communities in different locales (e.g. Fort Wayne, Berkson et al. 2017; Kansas City, Strelluf 2018). In U.S. varieties of English that display /aɪ/-raising, the raising generally occurs in the absence of concomitant //-raising: we refer to this as American Raising, thereby distinguishing it from Canadian Raising. The recent emergence of American Raising in multiple, distinct locales makes it increasingly possible to document its origins and spread. This panel brings together phonologists, phoneticians and sociolinguists to address formal and sociolinguistic aspects of American Raising in different locales.  Formal aspects include questions about which words/environments are the first to raise and how raising spreads to other words/environments.  Social aspects include questions on how it spreads through social networks and the matter of what raising indexes.


Erik Thomas

North Carolina State University

Jeff Mielke

North Carolina State University

Saturday October 12, 2019 1:40pm - 2:05pm PDT
EMU Gumwood
  S: American raising