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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: The acquisition of newly emerging sociophonetic variation: /str-/ in American English
Author: Ben M Rutter
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Sheffield
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Phonetics; Phonology; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Eight children aged 4;1–8;1 and their primary caregivers participated in a study designed to evaluate their use of the onset cluster /str-/ in both read and conversational speech. The cluster is currently undergoing a reported sound change in many varieties of English, with the initial /s/ being retracted to [ʃ]. The study compared the initial fricative of the cluster in both the children and their mothers. Acoustic analysis was carried out in order to categorize tokens as either [s] or [ʃ] using spectral peak analysis. Results found that children as young as 5;1 were starting to exhibit the usage patterns of their mothers. The distribution of the novel variant suggests that the children may be learning this form via a process of lexical diffusion rather than by rule. Implications for the study of dialect acquisition and phonological acquisition in general are discussed.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 41, Issue 5.

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