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LINGUIST List 19.708

Mon Mar 03 2008

Diss: Socioling: Hamilton-Brehm: 'A Foundational Sample of El Paso ...'

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        1.    Anne Hamilton-Brehm, A Foundational Sample of El Paso English

Message 1: A Foundational Sample of El Paso English
Date: 03-Mar-2008
From: Anne Hamilton-Brehm <amhamibgmail.com>
Subject: A Foundational Sample of El Paso English
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Institution: University of Georgia
Program: Linguistics Program
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Anne Marie Hamilton-Brehm

Dissertation Title: A Foundational Sample of El Paso English

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Dissertation Director:
William A. Kretzschmar
William Provost
Sarah Blackwell

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation describes the sampling method and results of analysis of
the El Paso English Survey, a survey of lexical and phonetic features of
forty European-American El Pasoans who came of age during World War II.
Three-hour interviews were conducted yielding over twenty minutes of
conversational speech (the basis for phonetic analysis) and three-hundred
lexical features. The informants are upper-middle-class, ten rural and
thirty urban, with equal numbers of men and women in each group. Analysis
involved Kruskall-Wallis tests for correlation of linguistic variants with
the social variables: sex, rurality, parental origin, and occupation.
Results show variation both between individuals and within individual
speech, but indicate features general to the speech of the sample as a
whole and features correlated with social variants. Correlation of a large
number of linguistic variants with parental origin demonstrates the
influence of parents on developing speech habits. Evidence from the El Paso
English Sample challenges the notion of merger of the vowels in caught and
cot, suggesting simple unrounding of the vowel in caught. Variation in the
sample is considered within the framework of the Founder Principle advanced
by Salikoko Mufwene (2001).

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