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Thursday, October 10 • 4:50pm - 5:15pm
Maddeaux: Individual cognitive differences as predictors of participation in sound change

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Individual cognitive differences as predictors of participation in sound change

Models of sound change rely on the individual to initiate, adopt and propel change. But sociolinguistic core principles refer mainly to the groupings of age, gender, and class; they stop short of being able to predict which individuals within these groups will be advanced in a change and which will be delayed. As a starting point for investigating the role of individual differences, I test for correlations between F2 of /u/ among 110 white L1 English speakers in Toronto aged 18–40, and two cognitive measures. Empathy Quotient (EQ) quantifies our ability to identify people’s emotions and to respond appropriately, and Systematizing Quotient (SQ) is our ability to construct and analyze rule-based systems. Significant main effects of both cognitive measures, as well as interactions with age, indicate that alongside macrosocial group membership and identity, we need also look to individuals’ cognitive profile as predictors of their participation in language change.

Speakers
RM

Ruth Maddeaux

University of Toronto


Thursday October 10, 2019 4:50pm - 5:15pm
EMU Crater Lake S
  • Session type Talk
  • Chair: Charlie Farrington


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