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PERCEPTION & LANGUAGE REGARD

Dennis R. Preston Michigan State University preston@msu.edu

The linguistic world is made up of only two parts: 1. The structural part, which I conceive of broadly, consists of the following:
a. phonetics and (morpho)phonology, b. morphology and (morpho)syntax, c. semantics, and d. pragmatics

2. The language regard part, which responds to a variety of linguistic and nonlinguistic factors, exemplified in the following:
a. Is a speaker well-educated? b. Is a speakers language deficient? c. Is a message well-organized? d. Does a speaker sound friendly? etc

These regard concerns are known variously as language attitudes, folk linguistics, and language ideologies. I will deal only with the first two. In earlier work, Nancy Niedzielski and I (2000) tried to situate these within a more general framework of linguistic concerns.

a Cognitive states and processes which govern a

Language production and comprehension


a

Conscious reactions to and comments b1 on language b Cognitive states and processes which govern b

Subconscious reactions to bn language

The top of this triangle (a) is the traditional language stuff. For the sentence I stuck him with a pen, all the technical categories listed above come into play (for both speaker and hearer): a. Phonetics and (morpho)phonology i. [aystkmwpn] ii. {PAST} /stk/ /stk/ b. (Morpho)syntax i. {stick} + {PAST} etc

The end result is that


a. the speaker has meant to communicate that they stuck somebody with a pen, and b. the hearer has understood that the speaker meant just that. What could be simpler!

Its not simple.

Underlying a there is an a, the domain of the cognitive principles which allow the utterance and understanding of the things uttered and understood at a.
Linguists are most excited about finding those a features that enfranchise a the competence that underlies performance. Thats not our concern today.

Scholars have not ignored the bottom of the triangle. The right hand side (tacit knowledge) has been most exploited by social psychologists under the label language attitudes; the left hand side (declarative knowledge) has been the domain of folk linguistics. That makes the triangle look like this.

Linguistic elements (at a) and theories (at a) may encourage responses (along b).
a Cognitive states and processes which govern a

Language production and comprehension


a

Deliberative reactions to and comments b1 on language b Cognitive states and processes which govern b

Automatic reactions to bn language

Lets cut the b continuum in half and pretend that people are only aware or unaware. I know its more complicated than that, but lets begin on the far left and look first at folk linguistics.

Why should we study what real people believe about linguistics and language?

A: THE ETHNOGRAPHY OF LANGUAGE REASON

Folk linguistic studies must be done if we want a complete ethnography of language for any group. If we do not know what nonlinguists believe about language, we lack full information about perhaps the most important element of their cultures.

B: THE LINGUISTIC THEORY REASON

Folk linguistic studies should be done if we have any interest in the insights of those who use language daily. Why would we assume that any linguists could not gain clues about language by listening to the linguistic comments of the folk?

C: THE LANGUAGE VARIATION AND CHANGE REASON

It would be surprising if folk belief did not bear on many elements involved in variation and change. Although much goes on below the conscious level, not everything does, and folk clues about winners and losers in language variation and change should be interesting, perhaps even explanatory.

D: THE APPLIED LINGUISTICS REASON

How could one imagine doing applied linguistics without knowing the linguistic beliefs of the group with whom the work is to be done. To do so is to invite disdain for or outright opposition to ones attempts.

So, maybe its a good idea to do folk linguistics, but two reasons are usually given not to do it: A. Many things in language that the folk talk about arent really there at all, or things the folk say about language are completely wrong, and B. Things that are there are completely inaccessible to folk knowledge.

Yes, the content of the computational system is inaccessible to nonexperts, but if one takes a more surface oriented notion of structure, many facts are (Silverstein 1981), but may be available in different ways (Preston 1996).
But there is no special value in folk opinions being correct. Only one of the justifications outlined above (linguistic theory) would hinge on that necessity.

LABOV on FOLK KNOWLEDGE in the US and England

The overt responses in American and English society generally are quite poor as far as vocabulary is concerned. Poverty-stricken would be the best term for this vocabulary. The inadequacy of peoples overt remarks about their own language is directly reflected in the fact that there are only a few words that they use to convey the subjective response that they feel. But some of the references made here today show that there are highly institutionalized folk attitudes toward language which are much richer than those which we are accustomed to meeting in the U.S. and England. (Labov, discussion of Hoenigswald 1966:23)

That might mean that folk linguistics is worth doing in other countries, but I believe that Labov is also wrong about Britain and America. He is concerned, for example, about nasals:

Frequently, if you ask somebody what he thinks of this style of speech (nasalized), hell say its very nasal; and if you produce a speech of this sort (denasalized), hell say thats very nasal too. In other words, the denasalized speech characteristics of some urban areas and extremely nasalized speech are treated in the same way. (Labov, discussion of Hoenigswald 1966:23-4)
But Labov does not differentiate between the folk and linguistic taxonomies of nasal.

Lets examine this accessibility issue more carefully. Silverstein (1981) surveys 5 conditions for folk linguistic availability:
1. Unavoidable referentiality 2. Continuous segmentability 3. Relative presuppositionality 4. Decontextualized deducibility 5. Metapragmatic transparency

1) Unavoidable referentiality: For example, the deferenceversus solidarity-with-hearer pragmatic system is realized as a second or third person plural (deferential) versus a second person singular (solidary) e.g., German Sie versus du; French vous versus tu. The opposition is unavoidably referential, for the pronoun forms which carry the pragmatic system are the same ones which refer to individuals. In contrast, although a speakers selection of a certain phonetic variant in a given performance might symbolize greater deference to a hearer (as a result of the greater formality associated with that variant), such variants are not in themselves referential; therefore, although formality versus informality is a pragmatic opposition, its realization in the use of a particular phonetic variant is not unavoidably referential and less open to folk awareness.

2) Continuous segmentability refers to the fact that some linguistic units are not interrupted by other material. In I am going to town, the entire sentence, each word, phrases such as to town, and even morphemes such as -ing are all continuously segmentable. The form which refers to the progressive aspect, however, is am -ing, and displays discontinuity, making it less open to awareness.
In a discussion of the passive, however, an equally discontinuous phenomenon, several US English speaking respondents provide evidence for considerable awareness of the construction (Niedzielski and Preston 2000). Subject-verb agreement, multiple negation, and so-called split infinitives, all discontinuous or potentially so, are also frequently discussed phenomena in English, suggesting that some other factors may overcome Silversteins purely linguistic categorizations.

3) Relative presuppositionality is Silversteins term for the degree to which a pragmatic function depends on contextual factors to realize its meaning. At one end of this scale are such items as this and that, which successfully function only if there is a physical reality to which they can be linked, a relative physical (or mental) distance which supports the choice between them, or a prior mention of some entity. Such presuppositionally dependent items do very little creative work and are readily available to the folk as linguistic objects.
At the other end of the scale are items which are context creating. For example, Duranti (1984) notes that third person subject pronoun occurrence in Italian (a pro-drop language) signals a main character and usually one towards whom the speaker displays positive affect. This function of overt pronoun realization in Italian is hidden to folk speakers.

4) Decontextualized deducibility says more about how linguistic facts are accounted for by the folk than about their general availability. One common path taken by folk commenters on linguistic objects is that of specifying thededucible entailed presuppositions, a characterization which is the equivalent of stating the meaning. In other words, providing the contexts in which the form in question fits or is true is a common folk activity. Consider the following:

((In a discussion of Christmas, H has asked if there is any difference between gift and present; D has said earlier that there is not, but he returns to the question.)) D: Oftentimes a gift is something like you you go to a Tupperware party and theyre going to give you a gift, its- I think its more impersonal, - than a present. G: No, theres no difference. D: No? Theres real- yeah theres really no difference. Thats true. Maybe the way we use it is though. G: There is no difference. U: Maybe we could look it up and see what gift means. D: I mean technically theres no difference. ((They look up gift and present in the dictionary.)) (Niedzielski and Preston 2000)

5) Metapragmatic transparency: When the folk say what went on, they are more likely to mimic what was actually said if the performance is metapragmatically transparent. Suppose Wanda is cold and that Karla is near the thermostat. Wanda could say: Brrrrrrrrr! Im freezing. Arent you cold? I wonder if the furnace is broken? Would you mind if we had a little more heat in here? Turn up the heat.

Turn up the heat has the greatest metapragmatic transparency, and folk accounts of the interaction between Wanda and Karla are more likely to result in an observation that Wanda asked Karla to turn up the heat than in any of the other request forms. Wanda said Arent you cold, and by that meant for Karla to turn up the heat would be a strange report (except for a linguist or a philosopher).

Even recognizing such detail does not characterize how folk attention may express itself. Preston (1996) provides the following classification:
1) Availability: Not all areas (whether of performance, ability, or reaction) have equal availability. They may be ranked as follows: a) Unavailable; the folk do not comment on some topics (e.g., specific phonological features of some accents). b) Available; the folk will discuss some matters carefully described by a fieldworker (e.g., deviant sentences), but they do not normally do so. c) Suggestible; although seldom initiated in ordinary conversation, the folk will comment on topics if they arise; they do not require elaborate description from a fieldworker. d) Common; topics of usual folk linguistic discussion.

2) Accuracy: Although it has no bearing on the value of the data, folk descriptions of language may be inaccurate or accurate. 3) Detail: A linguistic object may be characterized with great specificity or none. a) Global; for example, the phonological detail of an accent might be unavailable, but that does not limit comment on the accent. b) Specific; in some cases, linguistic characterization is detailed (e.g., accounts of speakers who are said to drop their gs in -ing forms). 4) Control: In both account and performance, folk linguists may or may not control the variety (or any aspect of it) under consideration. This last cuts across the first three considerations in unexpected ways. A speaker who reports on only the global aspects of an accent might nevertheless give a detailed imitation of it (which might be in part accurate, in part inaccurate).

Given these conditions, one may ask why language is ever overtly noticed. The Japanese sociolinguist Takesi Sibata has a simple (and I believe partly correct) explanation:

the average language user is so involved with communicating that he is usually not conscious of the words he uses (1971:375).
And I would add not conscious of the words others use either. Even items that have the linguistic and pragmatic character to be available, because of what we may call the communicative mandate, go unnoticed.

What sorts of language acts allow us to overcome the communicative mandate? Again Sibata has identified at least part of the answer:
It appears to be natural for forms which differ from those which one usually uses to attract ones attention (1971:374).

And I would add to this usually uses or that one expects to be used ....

Lets return to I stuck him with a pen and try to place an account of that sentence by a real person into the details of this triangle. What could make a real person pay attention to the form of this sentence?

Ill modify just the (broad) phonetics a bit: [astkmwpn]


This sentence is now noticeable to some. The top-of-the-triangle (a and a) facts that make it so are simple: 1) This new speaker has a rule (a) that monophthongizes /y/ to [] (a).

2) And a rule (a) that merges // and // to [] before nasals (a).

The hearer has neither rule and could say things like the following to record their awareness of the form of this utterance:
1) This speaker pronounces his I like ah. 2) This speaker uses the same vowels in pin and pen. But thats not the way the folk linguistic world usually turns. The trip from a to b is very messy.

The folk say things like: He sounds like some redneck Southerner. He sounds like some shit-kicker. He sounds like he doesnt have enough sense to come in out of the rain. He sounds like some racist bastard. He sounds like hes married to his cousin.

He sounds like he could make good moonshine. etc

All this suggests that, once we have the right configuration of a (perhaps a), we can move directly to folk responses.
To obey Sibatas law (with my revision), one need only do a contrastive analysis of their own speech and the others (or of the expected variety of a speaker and their actual performance) to trigger a b response.

Sibatas rule: The speaker says [pn] for pen; but the hearers rules yield [pEn], and causes them to notice the pronunciation.

My corollary: In another setting, a hearer knows a speaker is from the Southern US, but they say [pEn], so the pronunciation is still noticed.
So, once we have noticed a linguistic fact, we can move directly to a folk response.

In other words, the path shown here.


a Cognitive states and processes which govern a

Language production and comprehension


a
Hearers notice is triggered

Deliberative reactions to and comments b1 on language b Cognitive states and processes which govern b

Automatic reactions to bn language

This is horribly inadequate. Stimuli dont directly trigger responses. Maybe something like this:
a Focus b b1

When the folk notice (Focus) language data (a), they process it through an underlying belief system (b), understanding it as something that can be made sense of within that system. These steps precede any response (b1).

In other words, the new path shown here.


a Cognitive states and processes which govern a

Language production and comprehension


a
Hearers notice is triggered

Deliberative reactions to and comments b1 on language b Cognitive states and processes which govern b

Automatic reactions to bn language

In our example, the vowel merger before nasals is different from the hearers system (Sibatas rule) and triggers notice; it allows the hearer to conclude that the speaker is Southern. All the redneck, shit-kicker, hillbilly, moonshine-making, cousin-marrying stuff listed above spills out from b.
What makes this folk linguistic (except for the trigger)? Another revision.

Focus

ab

b1

Step a: Speaker produces an [] in pen. Step Focus: Hearer notices it, since their own rule produces an []. Step b: Hearer recognizes that this a is Southern and provides caricatures of such speech (b). Step ab: Hearer imbues fact (a) with the characteristics retrieved from b. Step b1: Hearer utters folk remark (b1).

Important fact:
Language itself (a and a) does not carry language regard features intrinsically. This model suggests that regard features are formed by an association between language features (at any linguistic level) and nonlinguistic caricatures held about groups of speakers.

In other words, the path finally shown here.


a Cognitive states and processes which govern a

Language production and comprehension


a
Hearers notice is triggered

Deliberative reactions to and comments b1 on language

a is redefined ab triggers b in terms of b response

Automatic reactions to bn language

b Cognitive states and processes which govern b

a Focus a b

ab ab b1

How can a factors play a role? Since Americans know that Hillbillies are so dumb they cant tell the difference between pin and pen, a belief about intelligence and phonological contrast may be triggered, a very peculiar linguistic notion, but one not so strange in a folk theory of language.

If all this is true, responses of any sort at b are only clues to what we are really after:

The identity of b concepts and their application to a and a material.


Not everything we have done so far in folk linguistics is wrong, but I recommend taking a careful look at our methods (and results) within this more cognitively oriented model.

Perhaps the best-known techniques in folk linguistics have been done within perceptual dialectology. Two techniques handdrawn maps and ratings of areas will illustrate qualitative and quantitative approaches to such folk data, respectively, and I will relate the findings to what we have already discussed.

Instructions: Its well known that people in different parts of the country speak English differently. Draw boundaries around the speech areas of the US as you know them on the above map and write inside the area the label you use to identify that kind of speech, the area, or speakers of that variety. If you use more than one label, give all you use. If this map is not detailed enough for you to indicate some of the things you know about speech in a particular area, use the back to draw such a smaller area and label it. If you have any comments about what you have done, please write them down on the back of the page as well.

QuickTime and a TIFF (LZW) decomp resso r are neede d to see this picture.

Hand-drawn map of US dialect areas (Chicago, 1984, age 18, EA, male, coach)

There are many ways to talk about this map; one might investigate the areas and the labels.
This respondent labels Chicago as Normal talk for the average person.

Detroit is a place for Black fro talk, and much of the South is the home of Southern talk the worst English in American. This respondent cares for much more than regional distribution (a linguists a fact).

He has made sense of a silly request (where do people speak differently?), by applying a sense-making strategy (from b), one that reformulates our task into one about the regional implications of good and bad English.

Subsequent quantitative interpretation of numbers of maps from southeastern Michigan led to a generalization about where such respondents put the speech areas of the US.

Generalized areas and density of response by southeastern MI respondents.

This map is interesting as regards outlines, but more interesting for the number of respondents who isolate different areas. 94% identify a South, 61% a home area, and 54% a NYC area. Why?

If large numbers of Michiganders draw a South and a NYC area, there must be a reason, one which appears to be something other than linguistic distinctiveness. The b here may be that questions of linguistic difference are sent through a correctness evaluator before they are responded to.
Armed with this information, it was possible to go directly for attitudinal responses that reflected the b fact uncovered in this previous research.

Southeastern Michigan ratings of the 50 states, Washington, D.C. and New York City on a scale of 1 to 10 for correctness.

These Michiganders are not reticent to assert that Michigan has the very best English and that places like Alabama and New York City have the worst.
Such work as this allowed us to posit an underlying theory of language (a big b) for speakers of American English. We suspect it may not be very different for others, although Swedes like Book Language and Danes like the National Language Board.

THE LANGUAGE

A Folk Theory of Language


Good Language

Two theories of language

Ordinary Language

Dialects

Errors

A Linguistic Theory of Language


Dialect #1 Dialect #2

THE LANGUAGE

Dialect #3

etc...

Idiolect #1

Idiolect #2

etc...

In the US, and I suspect in many other places as well, it is this top-down rather than bottom-up view of the very existence of the language itself that underlies a great deal of folk linguistic belief. It not only explains much of what I have shown you but also empowers at least prescriptivism and odd beliefs about the the ease with which the standard variety may be learned. But I am way ahead of myself.

Lets back up and place this research in the cognitive framework I proposed earlier.
a Focus b ab b1...bn

The Focus in the map drawing task is on differences in dialect areas (a). Since there are no actual data, we dont know what was considered by the respondents, but when they considered a, no matter what data they had in mind, they resorted to a b belief that ranks varieties on the basis of correctness.

Focus

ab

b1...bn

In the next step, they have redefined whatever linguistic details they have in mind (at whatever level of specificity and with whatever degree of authenticity) as ab, a complex array of the imagined details along with the deeper folk belief about correctness and the position of the South within that belief (as well as beliefs that support that positioning).

Focus

ab

b1

In the final step, the respondents have taken their redefined information and used it in constructing whatever sort of response has been requested of them. Although much of the process may have been covert in this particular case, we are still pretending that it has fallen on the far left of the continuum, in part perhaps due to the overt specificity of the request itself.

Suppose, however, we change what we will focus on and how we draw the respondents attention to that focus. Thats what I hope to do with reference to region, phonetic detail, discourse evidence, and the role of language regard in variation and change in the remainder of this course.

But next we will turn to a more sophisticated cognitive model that will better show how every time you manipulate just one aspect of investigation you will produce something new, something further revealing, and something which will take you deeper into this area of the linguistic subsciences.

This should be the end of my first session.

This more sophisticated model of language regard will allow us to consider the other side to the triangle, the language attitude side, where, as I suggested earlier, we are often more concerned with covert, subconscious responses. First, lets ask social psychologists what an attitude is.

An attitude is a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor (Eagly and Chaiken 2005:744). The relationship between attitudes and Concepts & beliefs (cognition), Behaviors (action), and Emotions (affect) is two-way: all three contribute to as well as result from attitudes. But they are all distinct.

A particular entity is called an attitude object by social psychologists, and they note that such entities are presented (Focus in our earlier terminology) within specific eliciting conditions.

Eliciting conditions include (at least): 1) Setting time, place, participants 2) Form of the stimulus written or audio (video) presentation, isolated or in context 3) Task type written or verbal, timed or untimed, scalar or identificational 4) Representation of the attitude object direct or indirect

A more complete representation of a stimulus, resulting in a construal


Attitude Object

Automatic Processes

Associated Representations

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Task Type

Setting

Working Memory Prior Experience

Eliciting Conditions

Input from

Automatic Processes

or

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Working Memory

Prior experience

Implicit Response Attitudinal Cognitorium

Attitude Object

Automatic Processes

Associated Representations

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Task Type

Setting

Working Memory Prior Experience

Eliciting Conditions

Attitude Object

Automatic Processes

Attitudinal Cognitorium

Associated Representations

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Task Type

Setting

Working Memory Prior Experience

Eliciting Conditions Explicit Response

Implicit Response Input

Response

Explicit Response Input

Implicit Response Input

Response

Explicit Response Input

Southerners

Prejudiced

Ignorant

Friendly

Violent

Poorly Educated Genuine


Honest

Sympathetic

Hypocritical

Unprejudiced

Southeastern Michigan ratings of the 50 states, Washington, D.C. and New York City on a scale of 1 to 10 for correctness.

Southerners

Prejudiced

Ignorant

Friendly

Violent

Poorly Educated Genuine


Honest

Sympathetic

Hypocritical
Bad English

Unprejudiced

Judges Attribute A. Majority group B. Majority group for Status/in-group for solidarity C. In-group D. Majority group for status/minority group for solidarity

LV1 speakers Status Solidarity LV1 LV1

LV2 speakers Status Solidarity LV1 LV1

LV1 LV1 LV1

LV1 LV1 LV2

LV1 LV2 LV1

LV2 LV2 LV2

Ryan, Giles, and Sebastian (1982:9) outline of language regard types

What type of society is the US? How can we find out? If Michiganders are LV1, what are southerners?

Southeastern Michigan ratings of the 50 states, Washington, D.C. and New York City on a scale of 1 to 10 for pleasantness.

Auburn University ratings of the 50 states, Washington, D.C. and New York City on a scale of 1 to 10 for pleasantness.

A simplified map of southern Michigan hand-drawn areas of US dialect differences for trait evaluation.

slow fast polite rude snobbish down-to-earth educated uneducated normal abnormal smart dumb formal casual bad English good English friendly unfriendly nasal not nasal speaks with without a drawl speaks with without a twang

South Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Attribu te Casual Friend ly Dow n-to-ear th Poli te N ot nasa l N ormal [Ab norma l] Smart [Du m b] N o twan g [Twan g] Good En glish [Bad Eng.] Educa ted [Uned ucated] Fast [Slow] N o dr aw l [Drawl]

Mean 4.66 4.58 4.54 4.20 4.09 * 3.22 3.04 2.96 2.86 2.72 2.42 2.22

N orth Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9.5 9.5 11 12

Attribu te N o dr aw l N o twan g N ormal Smart Good En glish Dow n-to-ear th Fast Educa ted Friend ly Poli te N ot nasa l Casual

Mean 5.11 5.07 4.94 4.53 4.41 4.19 4.12 4.09 4.00 4.00 3.94 3.53

Michigan ratings of the North and the South for 12 attributes (scale = 1 to 6)

Judges Attribute A. Majority group B. Majority group for Status/in-group for solidarity C. In-group D. Majority group for status/minority group for solidarity

LV1 speakers Status Solidarity LV1 LV1

LV2 speakers Status Solidarity LV1 LV1

LV1 LV1 LV1

LV1 LV1 LV2

LV1 LV2 LV1

LV2 LV2 LV2

This study, in which the responses are teased out with folk categories, suggests, unlike the rating task, that Northerners are insecure about the pleasantness of their own variety, ascribing that attribute to Southern speech.

Southerners

Prejudiced

Ignorant

Friendly

Violent

Poorly Educated Genuine


Honest

Sympathetic

Hypocritical
Bad English

Unprejudiced

[ay]

[a:]

Male & Female voice ratings


9 8 7.16 6.59 5.77 4.5 3.31 2.39 3.69 2.65 4.01 3.25 5.99 5.4 Fe mal e Mal e 7.61 6.43

Mea n area ass ignments

7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Monophthongization s te ps

Results for responses to male and female speakers seven-step monophthongization of guide

Male

Southerners

Prejudiced

Ignorant

Friendly

Violent

Poorly Educated Genuine


Honest

Sympathetic

Hypocritical
Bad English

Unprejudiced

Now lets turn to a few more samples of investigation of language regard, from both the folk and attitudinal sides, to further our understanding of how such data are collected and interpreted, particularly with an eye towards their role in language variation and change.

LANCHART Speaker Evaluation Experiment


D-S variables = Traditional dialect variant Origin: Local communit y vs. Standard variant vs. Copenhagen Cph (=Copenhagen -Based Standard) Low/Younger variant MODERN Cph

LOCAL speech (=Locally accented Stand ard)

Cph-variables =

High/Older variant CONSERVATIVE Cph

vs.

Voices and varieties

Copenhagen Elsewhere

Cb1 Cb1

Mg2 Mg2

Mb5 Lb3

Cg4 Cg4 Mb5 Lg6

Cb7 Cb7

Mg8 Mg8 Lb9 Cg10

Mb11 Mb11

Cg10 Lg12

C = Conservative M = Modern L = Local b = boy g = girl numbers = order on the tape

Intelligent Stupid
Conscientious Happy-go-lucky

Trustworthy Untrustworthy Goal-directed Dull Self-assured Insecure Fascinating Boring Cool Uncool Nice Repulsive

C C M M M M M M

*** / / / *** *** *** *

M M C C C L L C

*** * ** / / *** ** /

L L L L L C C L

*** * ** * *** *** *** *** Friedman Test

Wilcoxon Signed Pair Test

*** = p<.001

** = p<.01

* = p<.05

/ = n.s.

Sibilant perception (Strand & Johnson 1996) Tokens were created that varied along the continuum between sod and shod and placed in front of a VC segment Listeners were asked to choose whether they heard sod or shod. Some were told the speaker was a man, others it was a woman all heard the same tokens

When listeners believed the speaker was a woman, they made the boundary between the categories at a higher frequency than when they thought it was a man.

heat

i
hoot

hit

could hate head

o
caught

e
hut

coat

hat

hot

General American English

The Northern Cities Chain Shift

Hi. My name is Monica, and Ive grown up in Lansing my entire life. My parents are from Lansing, and my grandparents are from Lansing too. I went to Waverly High School, which is about ten minutes away, and I went to St. Gerard for my primary education.

Monica: // is front up: // is back Lansing & grandparents: // is high & front ten & education: // is low & back

The Northern Cities Chain Shift

Nancy Niedzielski played the word last for southeastern Michiganders. They first heard the vowel at the ACTUAL position. Then she asked them to pair that pronunciation with one of three others: the same, one closer to so-called canonical //, and one even lower and farther back.
Formant values of tokens offered to respondents to match with speake r s last Token # F1 F2 label 1 900 1530 hyper-standard 2 775 1700 canonical // 3 700 1900 actual token produced by speaker

3000 200

2500

2000

1500

1000

300

i u e Actual Canon Hyper o

400

500

600

700

800

900

1000

Respondent matching results for the vowel in last token 1 2 3 hyper canonical actual ____________standard // token 10% 90% 0% n= 4 38 0

Total 42

Where is Michigan?

Mt. Pleasant 23,285

Ithaca 3,009
Roscommon 858

Systems of selected Michigan speakers (Ito and Preston, 1998)

Tammy (local loyalty): R: T: Have you ever wished to live somewhere ELSE? Um:. I've thought about it, but - I don't really want to go - anywhere else, cause if - if I go to Florida or somewhere, it's summer all the time. Which I don't mind, but but I miss the ...winter and if I were to go somewhere where its snow (-y, -ing) all the time Id miss the summer. And I like the fall too and its [ Yeah It's beautiful. [ Uh huh. And that's why I like Michigan. I don't want to - go anywhere. I see. Uh. So::. Well you mentioned a little bit, but what is the best thing or the advantage or the worst thing or disadvantage to: live somewhere around here? To living somewhere around here? (pause) Um::. I don't know as there's disadvantages. Some of the advantages - I look at is - iwhen I- ever I have a family I would rather be up here because - I would be less apt to run into the crime and the gangs and all that stuff. And if youre out in the country it doesn't happen as often, and - then I wouldn't have to be so worried about when my kids go out at night and things like that. So Id rather live here. Where I know my territory more or less.

R: T: R: T:

Sherry (nonlocal orientation) R: S: Have you ever wished to live somewhere else Oh: I wouldn't mind living on the la:ke. Higgins Lake, its l ike real close to here, and I usually waitress at restaurants out by the lake. So, ... I've often thought that it would be neat to live on the lake, but ... Id just as soon get out of Roscommon. So it doesn't really, I havent really been (laughs) something Ive given much thought to.

R: S:

I see. Um. So, what is the advantage to live ... here? Well, I don't know. Living in California I just- I liked the climate, I liked the place, its something new. Its j ust seems to suit to my personality. I like seeing new places. So, ... I guess it would be more ... close to things, than I dont know, it just clicks wi th me, so R: So what would be the ... worst thing or the disadvantage living here? S: Living here? Ah- well, being far from everything. R&S: (laugh) S: Living kind of ... sheltered away from, uh

A Q E I
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Overall comprehension results for Peterson & Barney, 1952 (percent correct)

A Q E I
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Overall comprehension results; Preston, 2005 (percent correct)

ATTITUDES CONCLUSIONS:
1) Eliciting conditions are a source of variation. 2) Processing (automatic vs. deliberative) is a source of variation. 3) The excited network modules are a source of variation. 4) There is no one response truer than another.

PERCEPTIONS CONCLUSIONS:
1) Eliciting conditions are (still) a source of variation. 2) Processing (automatic vs. deliberative) is (still) a source of variation. 3) The excited network modules are (still) a source of variation. 4) There is no one perception more accurate than another.

Why is language regard important to sociolinguistics in particular? The stability of norms is important to basic concepts in the field:
[Evaluation of /r/] is typical of many other empirical findings which confirm the view of New York City as a single speech community, united by a uniform evaluation of linguistic features, yet diversified by stratification in performance. (Labov 1972:117, italics mine)