The Southern United States have long been known for language diversity, yet linguistic research in this region has often focused on broad descriptions of characteristics of Southern American English as compared to other regional dialects of American English. Linguistic subregions in the South, however, are distinctly different from each other, and additional social variation also occurs within those subregions. Thus, the different English varieties spoken in the South cannot be collapsed under a single umbrella. Analyzing varieties of English in the Southern United States calls for a narrower approach, which will more accurately represent diverse Southern communities, their languages of practice, and the sound changes in process. Sociophonetic research on variation within English varieties in the Southern United States highlights theoretical and practical areas in speech acoustics that would otherwise remain under-documented and under-investigated, such as socially meaningful variation in vowel trajectories, nasalance of vowels, and temporal characteristics. The goal of this special issue is to bring together research that investigates the production and perception of Southern varieties of American English by documenting the segmental and prosodic patterns unique to these subregional varieties and by determining how these features are perceived by both Southerners and non-Southerners.
Introduction to the special issue on English in the Southern United States: Social factors and language variation
Irina Shport, Wendy Herd; Introduction to the special issue on English in the Southern United States: Social factors and language variation. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 January 2020; 147 (1): 525–528. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0000606
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