University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


College is believed to be a time of linguistic change, particularly due to cross-dialect mixing (Bigham 2010, Evans and Iverson 2007). We examine apparent time change in the read speech of 109 white college students from Ohio in three features of the Northern Cities Shift: TRAP fronting/raising (F2-F1), LOT fronting (F2) and lowering/backing (F2-F1) of KIT and DRESS. We also examined the monophthongization of PRICE, a feature of Southern speech.

We find two results that suggest tentative support for long-term accommodation: an effect of self-reported regional network on TRAP in northern Ohioans and an interaction between year of school and self-reported regional network on PRICE among southern Ohioans. However, no effects of apparent time through college are observed, leaving open the possibility that the effects observed, if real, are trigger by identity factors rather than exposure.



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