Regional linguistic variation is a widely known characteristic of American English, with the American South as one of the many foci. However, in much of this literature, Appalachia is lumped together with other Southern varieties. Further, the vast sociolinguistic literature has documented intra-regional variation along socio-indexical lines. However, most variation studies have focused on vocalic variation at the expense of other sources of variation, which may have different patterns and meanings. The present study was designed to explore intonational variation in conversational speech in two varieties of American English: Appalachian and Southern. Additionally, the intra-regional variation in intonation present in Appalachian English was explored considering the rootedness (local place-based attachment) of speakers. The results revealed significant effects of regional dialect on both the quantitative and qualitative realization of pitch accent. Further, intra-regional variation was significantly impacted by socio-indexical aspects, including rootedness, of individual speakers. The findings from this study demonstrate that both region and socio-indexical features are expressed intonationally and also provide motivation for additional exploration of intonational variation across and within the regional varieties of American English.
Skip Nav Destination
January 31 2020
Inter- and intra-regional variation in intonation: An analysis of rising pitch accents and rootedness
Special Collection: English in the Southern United States: Social Factors and Language Variation
Paul E. Reed; Inter- and intra-regional variation in intonation: An analysis of rising pitch accents and rootedness. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 January 2020; 147 (1): 616–626. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0000576
Download citation file: