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Academic Paper


Title: Articulation Rate Across Dialect, Age, and Gender
Author: Ewa Jacewicz
Institution: Ohio State University
Author: Robert Allen Fox
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.sphs.osu.edu/Faculty/Fox/Fox.html
Institution: Ohio State University
Author: Caitlin O'Neill
Institution: Ohio State University
Author: Joseph C Salmons
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://joseph-salmons.net
Institution: University of Wisconsin Madison
Linguistic Field: Phonetics; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Whether some languages or dialects are spoken faster or slower than others constitutes a gap in the understanding of sociolinguistic variation. Speech tempo is interconnected with the social, physical and psychological marking of speech. This study examines regional variation in articulation rate and its manifestations across speaker age, gender, and speaking situations (reading vs. informal talk). The results of an experimental investigation show that articulation rate differs significantly between two regional varieties of American English examined here. A group of Northern speakers (from Wisconsin) spoke significantly faster than a group of Southern speakers (from North Carolina). With regard to age and gender, young adults read faster than older adults in both regions; in informal talks, however, only Northern young adults spoke faster than older adults. Effects of gender were smaller and less consistent; men generally spoke slightly faster than women did. As the body of work on the sociophonetics of American English continues to grow in scope and depth, we argue that it is important to include fundamental phonetic information as part of our catalog of regional differences and patterns of change in American English.

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This article appears IN Language Variation and Change Vol. 21, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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