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Saturday, October 12 • 3:40pm - 5:30pm
(M4) Kazmierski & Urbanek: Variability in word-final /r/-vocalization in Providence: Evidence from Crimetown

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Variability in word-final /r/-vocalization in Providence: Evidence from Crimetown

Word-final /r/ is said to be less likely to vocalize when the following word begins with a vowel rather than a pause or a consonant (Labov 1966). A number of studies have shown that the phonetic shapes of words are influenced by the characteristics of the context in which they appear frequently (“contextual frequency effect”, Eddington & Channer 2010; Raymond et al. 2016; Forrest 2017). Therefore, we hypothesize that words typically occurring before consonants are more prone to r-vocalization than words typically occurring before vowels. As a data source, we used the Crimetown podcast, featuring interviews with variably rhotic speakers from Providence, RI. The recordings were force-aligned, and formant measurements were entered as a response variable into a mixed-effects linear regression model. While following vowels do favor r-full pronunciations locally, there is no evidence for a corresponding “contextual frequency effect”.


Kamil Kazmierski

Adam Mickiewicz University

Krzysztof Urbanek

Adam Mickiewicz University

Saturday October 12, 2019 3:40pm - 5:30pm PDT
EMU Ballroom