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Voice Quality

By John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner, Lise Crevier-Buchman

Voice Quality "The first description of voice quality production in forty years, this book provides a new framework for its study: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Informed by instrumental examinations of the laryngeal articulatory mechanism, it revises our understanding of articulatory postures to explain the actions, vibrations and resonances generated in the epilarynx and pharynx."

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Let's Talk

By David Crystal

Let's Talk "Explores the factors that motivate so many different kinds of talk and reveals the rules we use unconsciously, even in the most routine exchanges of everyday conversation."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Beyond the Monolingual Core and out into the Wild: A Variationist Study of Early Bilingualism and Sound Change in Toronto Heritage Cantonese Add Dissertation
Author: Holman Tse Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Pittsburgh, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 2018
Linguistic Subfield(s): Historical Linguistics; Phonetics; Phonology; Sociolinguistics; Language Acquisition;
Subject Language(s): Chinese, Yue
Language Family(ies): Sino-Tibetan
Director(s): Scott Kiesling

Abstract: This dissertation focuses on variation and change in the vowel system of Toronto Heritage Cantonese with the goal of pushing variationist research on sound change beyond its monolingually oriented core (Nagy 2016) and in approaching the study of heritage languages from the perspective of spontaneous speech. It addresses the possibility of contact-induced inter-generational vowel shifts, mergers, and splits in native vocabulary. It also addresses the extent to which demographic, ethnic orientation, or language use factors may account for these changes. The data comes from the Heritage Language Variation and Change in Toronto Project (Nagy 2011) and includes hour-long sociolinguistic interviews from Toronto residents of different age, sex, and generational backgrounds speaking in Cantonese along with Ethnic Orientation Questionnaire data and a picture description task from each speaker. The mean F1/F2 of each vowel category from each of 32 speakers were measured in native (and integrated English) vocabulary. The results show lack of vowel shifts, evidence for merger in progress of /y/ ~ /u/, and evidence for a pre-nasal split in /ɛ/. The speakers who lead in this merger and split are the ones who used the least amount of Cantonese in the interview samples. The lack of the same structural changes from Hong Kong speakers further supports an account based on contact-induced change. These findings challenge Labov’s (2007) Transmission and Diffusion model and suggest more sociolinguistic engagement with theoretical models of contact-induced change (cf. Thomason & Kaufman 1988, van Coetsem 2000).