* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
LINGUIST List logo Eastern Michigan University Wayne State University *
* People & Organizations * Jobs * Calls & Conferences * Publications * Language Resources * Text & Computer Tools * Teaching & Learning * Mailing Lists * Search *
* *
LINGUIST List 19.864

Fri Mar 14 2008

FYI: Experiment on the Temporal Window for Sociolinguistic Variables

Editor for this issue: Matthew Lahrman <mattlinguistlist.org>

To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at http://linguistlist.org/LL/posttolinguist.html.
        1.    Lucia Pozzan, Experiment on the Temporal Window for Sociolinguistic Variables

Message 1: Experiment on the Temporal Window for Sociolinguistic Variables
Date: 08-Mar-2008
From: Lucia Pozzan <lpozzangc.cuny.edu>
Subject: Experiment on the Temporal Window for Sociolinguistic Variables
E-mail this message to a friend

Talk Abstract:

Studies of speech communities have shown that sociolinguistic variables
display a fine-grained social and stylistic stratification in production. A
recent series of experiments examined the perceptual aspect of this
variation. The experiments were designed to explore the sensitivity and
temporal window of the monitoring faculty. The variable (ING), representing
the alternation of morphemes with apical and velar nasals, was selected as
one of the most stable and well recognized variables of this type.

Listeners heard a series of trials by a speaker auditioning for a job as a
broadcast announcer, in which the frequency of the /in/ variant ranged from
0 to 100%, and were asked to assign a rating on a scale of job suitability.
Judges in Philadelphia displayed a close fit to a logarithmic function in
responses to this task, in which the impact of a given deviation from the
norm was equivalent to the proportional increase in deviations.

The same function appeared in responses of college student judges in
Columbia, South Carolina and Durham, New Hampshire, for local and non-local
speakers. However, judges of high school age showed only a linear response
at a lower level of precision, varying according to social class. Among
college students, age was also relevant. Above the age of 23, all judges
showed the logarithmic function at a high level of precision. College
students from 18 to 23 displayed a bimodal distribution, evenly divided
into those who responded with the logarithmic function and those with
little sensitivity to the variable. Such sensitivity to frequencies
represents an aspect of sociolinguistic maturation much later in the
lifespan than any so far discovered.

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

This Year the LINGUIST List hopes to raise $60,000. This money will go to help keep 
the List running by supporting all of our Student Editors for the coming year.

See below for donation instructions, and don't forget to check out our Fund Drive 
2008 LINGUIST List Circus and join us on our many shows!


There are many ways to donate to LINGUIST!

You can donate right now using our secure credit card form at  

Alternatively you can also pledge right now and pay later. To do so, go to:

For all information on donating and pledging, including information on how to 
donate by check, money order, or wire transfer, please visit:

The LINGUIST List is under the umbrella of Eastern Michigan University and as such 
can receive donations through the EMU Foundation, which is a registered 501(c) 
Non Profit organization. Our Federal Tax number is 38-6005986. These donations 
can be offset against your federal and sometimes your state tax return (U.S. tax 
payers only). For more information visit the IRS Web-Site, or contact your 
financial advisor.

Many companies also offer a gift matching program, such that they will match any 
gift you make to a non-profit organization. Normally this entails your contacting 
your human resources department and sending us a form that the EMU Foundation fills 
in and returns to your employer. This is generally a simple administrative procedure 
that doubles the value of your gift to LINGUIST, without costing you an extra penny. 
Please take a moment to check if your company operates such a program.

Thank you very much for your support of LINGUIST!


Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Please report any bad links or misclassified data

LINGUIST Homepage | Read LINGUIST | Contact us

NSF Logo

While the LINGUIST List makes every effort to ensure the linguistic relevance of sites listed
on its pages, it cannot vouch for their contents.