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Saturday, October 12 • 3:40pm - 5:30pm
(L2) Umbal: Filipinos front too! A sociophonetic analysis of Toronto English /u/-fronting

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Filipinos front too! A sociophonetic analysis of Toronto English /u/-fronting

/u/-fronting is an on-going change in many English varieties. /u/ is also strongly conditioned by coarticulation, with greater fronting in postcoronal contexts and blocked in prelateral contexts. The role of ethnicity has been investigated recently, but mostly in American English and in the context of only a few heritage groups. This study broadens the scope by providing an acoustic analysis of /u/-fronting patterns among 10 Filipinos (versus 12 Anglos) in Toronto. It asks whether they participate in the change; and how consonantal context affects degree of fronting. Results reveal that Filipinos participate in the general fronting of /u/, with both groups displaying regular coarticulatory effects. However, Filipinos show significantly greater fronting than Anglos in postcoronal contexts. This study suggests that even though both groups participate in the change, ethnic patterns persist; and this finding may be explained in terms of cross-language influence or the emergent linguistic marketplace model.


Pocholo Umbal

University of Toronto

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