University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


Andrew Cheng


Native simultaneous bilingual speakers of English and Korean who grew up in California were recorded speaking English in a sociolinguistic interview. Their speech was analyzed for evidence of back vowel fronting, which is a part of the set of vowel shifts known as the California Vowel Shift. Results show that the speakers did participate in the fronting of GOAT and GOOSE, with male speakers fronting more than female speakers. A speaker's generational status as a childhood immigrant (1.5 generation) or a native-born second generation Korean American did not affect fronting, but a speaker's self-identification as ethnically "Korean" versus "Korean American" did. A brief discourse analysis of two speakers demonstrated within-speaker variation, whereby discourse topics that related to a speaker's distance from Korean community and identity were correlated with more back vowel fronting, while topics that related to a speaker's affinity to and use of the Korean language were correlated with less back vowel fronting.



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