Four self-identified code-switchers from Southwest Virginia and six actors who did not identify as having Southern accents each recorded two sets of stimuli in which they aimed to produce a more Southern and a more Standardized US accent. An analysis of the Voice Onset Time (VOT) of phrase and word initial voiced stops revealed that both groups of speakers produced more tokens with prevoicing (lead or negative lag voicing) when speaking in the Southern versus the Standard guise, and that in the Standard guise, the Southern speakers produced more prevoiced tokens than the actors. These findings support fairly recent descriptions of lead voicing as a feature of Southern US English. They additionally show that despite the lack of overt commentary about this feature, speakers have an awareness of the association between lead voicing and Southern US English because they manipulate the feature in a socially meaningful way; in Labov's [(1972). Sociolinguistic Patterns (Blackwell, Oxford)] terminology, negative lag voicing is a marker of Southern US English.
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January 31 2020
Voiced stops in the command performance of Southern US English
Special Collection: English in the Southern United States: Social Factors and Language Variation
Abby Walker; Voiced stops in the command performance of Southern US English. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 January 2020; 147 (1): 606–615. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0000552
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