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Saturday, October 12 • 3:40pm - 5:30pm
(K2) Kapner et al.: Revisiting variation of elementary pronunciation in Upstate New York

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Revisiting variation of elementary pronunciation in Upstate New York

In light of rising awareness and retreat of the Northern Cities Shift (NCS), we investigate the status of a lexical feature in an overlapping geographic region: variable stress on the penultimate syllable in words like elementary, documentary, and complimentary. Using new data from twenty-five sociolinguistic interviews in Rochester and Buffalo, New York, and a rapid and anonymous telephone survey, we describe three pronunciations, an expansion on the two described by Dinkin and Evanini (2010). We also update Dinkin and Evanini’s isogloss, finding that the local variants roughly follow the New York state line but have, since the earlier study, spread into far-western Vermont and Massachusetts. Examining relationships between speakers’ pronunciation of elementary and their demographics, we find that elementary patterns differently from the NCS in terms of social meaning and geographic distribution. This supports Dinkin and Evanini’s earlier analysis that the NCS and elementary represent different kinds of linguistic boundaries.


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 →

Theresa Kettelberger

University of Rochester

Agatha Milholland

University of Rochester

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