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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Academic Paper

Title: Phonological reduction in maternal speech in northern Australian English: change over time
Author: Heather Buchan
Institution: University of Wollongong
Author: Caroline Jones
Institution: University of Massachusetts at Boston
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Phonetics; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Segmental variation in maternal speech to children changes over time. This study investigated variation in non-citation speech processes in a longitudinal, 26-hour corpus of maternal northern Australian English. Recordings were naturalistic parent–child interactions when children (N=4) were 1;6, 2;0, and 2;6. The mothers' speech was phonetically transcribed and analyzed. Based on previous sociophonetic research showing proportional changes in speech variants in maternal speech as children get older, it was predicted that deletion of word-initial /h/ and word-final /v/, processes common in non-citation speech, would increase over time. Instead results showed a non-linear change in deletion within a stable set of lexical items. Deletion proportionately increased between 1;6 and 2;0 and decreased between 2;0 and 2;6. Further analysis indicated increased deletion was not accounted for by changes in speech rate, which only marginally increased over time. Findings suggest mothers fine-tune differentially over time as children's receptive and productive language knowledge develops.


This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 41, Issue 4.

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