- Research Program Mentor
PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Linguistics, Acoustics, Phonetics, Voice Acting, Vocal Tract Anatomy, Audiobook Narration
Sociolinguistic variation in my hometown
Have you ever wondered why some people pronounce words one way and others pronounce it a different way? In this project you will look at sociolinguistic variation in your hometown. For example, looking at Canadian Raising which is how the I in words like spider, cider, and typewriter gets pronounced. Here is one example of how to look at this type of sociolinguistic variation. First, you will create a word list of target words that might produce Canadian Raising for participants to say. Then you will ask people from different social groups to read the word list and record them on a phone or computer. Examples of these social groups include: men/women/non-binary; ages 18-35, 36-55, 56+; How long they have lived in the area. Once all recordings have been gathered you will then use a (free) program called Praat to analyze the I vowel in each word produced by each participant. After this is complete you will then graph those vowels using a (free) program called R, and compare these graphs both within social groups and across social groups to see if one type of pronunciation is more or less associated with a specific group. This kind of project is great for developing experience and skills with programs like Praat that are often used as the gold standard analysis tools within Linguistics.