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Friday, October 11 • 1:40pm - 2:05pm
Dinkin: Generational phases: The low back vowels in Cooperstown, New York

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Generational phases: The low back vowels in Cooperstown, New York

This paper examines the low back vowels in Cooperstown, a small village in rural central New York with heavy tourism, a relatively high middle-class population, and high in-migration from other regions. Four apparent-time phases are observable: Baby Boomers show sharp gender differentiation, with men producing fronter LOT and lower THOUGHT than women. In Generation X, the gender differentiation disappears; front LOT and high THOUGHT virtually vanish. Among Millennials, a new gender differentiation emerges: women mostly judge LOT/THOUGHT minimal pairs as merged, while men judge them distinct. In Generation Z, all speakers judge at least one minimal pair merged. The dialectal realignment after the Baby Boom generation is found not only in LOT and THOUGHT but in other vowels such as TRAP and PRICE. I argue that dialect contact due to migration may be the cause of this realignment, as well as of the relative advancement of the LOT/THOUGHT merger.


Aaron Dinkin

San Diego State University

Friday October 11, 2019 1:40pm - 2:05pm PDT
EMU Crater Lake N
  T: ADS sponsored
  • Session type Talk
  • Chair: Kirk Hazen