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Friday, October 11 • 3:40pm - 5:30pm
(D3) Brickhouse: Diachronic change in formant dynamics of California low back vowels: an improved analysis method using the Discrete Cosine Transform

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Diachronic change in formant dynamics of California low back vowels: an improved analysis method using the Discrete Cosine Transform

Previous work on California English has argued that a low back merger has occurred on the basis of formant point measurements. I add to this literature by investigating whether this pattern of convergence holds for the entire formant trajectory and develop a novel method of formant trajectory comparison to do so. Vowel formants are modeled by generalized additive models with the function terms defined by the discrete cosine transform (DCT-II). The coefficients of these terms are used to represent the vowel as a vector that describes the vowel’s F1 and F2 trajectories. The similarity between any two vowels is evaluated using the 5-dimensional Euclidean distance between their vectors. With data from 438 participants from 5 field sites, I find evidence of whole vowel convergence among white speakers, marginal divergence among multiracial speakers, and no evidence of change among speakers from other racial groups.

Speakers
avatar for Christian Brickhouse

Christian Brickhouse

Graduate Student, Stanford University
I am interested in the phonetics-phonology interface and social influences on diachronic phonetics and phonology.


Friday October 11, 2019 3:40pm - 5:30pm
EMU Ballroom


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