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Linguistics Vanguard

A Multimodal Journal for the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Bergs, Alexander / Cohn, Abigail C. / Good, Jeff


CiteScore 2018: 0.95

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.381
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.841

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2199-174X
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Individual variation in the development of the Western Vowel System of Utah

David Bowie
Published Online: 2019-06-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2018-0020

Abstract

The BIT, BING, BET, BAT, BAN, BOOK, and BUT vowels of ten Utah English speakers (born 1883–1928) were analyzed over the course of several decades of their adult lives. Most speakers participated in the Western Vowel System by lowering BIT and BET, retracting BAT, and raising BAN, with some fronting BOOK and BUT. Speakers generally did not exhibit monotonic change across the years from expected positions for BET, BAT, and BAN, and for the most part for BOOK and BUT; however, most speakers showed change with regard to BIT, though speakers differed from each other on the direction of change. Even for those vowels with no consistent direction of intraindividual change, however, in many cases speakers were inconsistent in their production from year to year. Further, speakers’ envelopes of variation were different for various vowels, with the widest range of intraindividual variation in BET and BAT, less variation in BAN and BUT, and little in BIT and BOOK. It is suggested that the envelope of variation is at least as much as an important issue for studies of linguistic behavior across adulthood as any actual shift in linguistic behavior across real time.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: age; intraindividual variation; lifespan change; Utah English; Western Vowel System

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About the article

Received: 2018-05-16

Accepted: 2019-01-16

Published Online: 2019-06-22


Citation Information: Linguistics Vanguard, Volume 5, Issue s2, 20180020, ISSN (Online) 2199-174X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2018-0020.

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