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Saturday, October 12 • 2:30pm - 2:55pm
Swan: More alike than different: /aɪ/ raising in Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC

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More alike than different: /aɪ/ raising in Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC

​Raising of /aʊ/ and /aɪ/ has long been seen as a differentiator of Canadian and U.S. dialects, despite attestations in U.S. dialects. The current study compares /aɪ/ raising in two urban dialects straddling the U.S.-Canadian border. The data come from 20 Seattle, WA and 19 Vancouver, BC talkers (ages 18-36) who completed a word-list task including 50 tokens of /aɪ/.  Both cities show a significant difference on both the F1 and F2 dimensions between their /aɪT/ tokens and /aɪD/ tokens. In comparing the cities, Vancouver talkers exhibit higher /aɪT/ tokens relative to /aɪD/ than Seattle, due to lower /aɪD/ tokens for Vancouver. With respect to Atlas benchmarks, 19 out of 20 Seattle talkers exhibit /aɪT/ raising. Age and gender subgroup variation does not suggest incipient change in Seattle. Rather, /aɪT/ raising is established in both urban centers, calling into question one dialect diagnostic used to distinguish the West from Canada.

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.

avatar for Julia Swan

Julia Swan

Assistant Professor, San José State University

Saturday October 12, 2019 2:30pm - 2:55pm PDT
EMU Gumwood
  S: American raising