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Friday, October 11 • 3:40pm - 5:30pm
(E2) Kapner: Snowy days and nasal A's: The retreat of the Northern Cities Shift in Rochester, New York

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Snowy days and nasal A's: The retreat of the Northern Cities Shift in Rochester, New York

Rochester, New York was one of the cities first described as participating in the Northern Cities Shift (NCS), but it has received little recent attention. The present study provides an update on the NCS in Rochester and answers a growing call for sociolinguistic research that benefits the community of study. Using recordings collected in collaboration with a local community group as dual-purpose oral history/sociolinguistic interviews, I measured formants from sixteen speakers, including three generations of one family. The results confirmed recent findings that the NCS is rising above the level of consciousness and retreating in apparent time. I found evidence for the advance of both the split between the TRAP and TRAMP vowels and the merger of COT and CAUGHT, but not for the California Vowel Shift. While speakers are shifting away from the NCS and toward some supra-local norms, they are not fully reorienting toward the Elsewhere Dialect.


Julianne Kapner

recent graduate; research assistant, University of Rochester; American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
I'm a recent graduate of the University of Rochester (B.A. in Linguistics, Minor in Classics). I'm currently a research assistant at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and planning to apply next year for PhD programs in linguistics. My undergraduate honors thesis was... Read More →

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