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Academic Paper

Title: Exploiting random intercepts: Two case studies in sociophonetics
Author: Katie Drager
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Author: Jennifer B. Hay
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Canterbury
Linguistic Field: Phonetics; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: An increasing number of sociolinguists are using mixed effects models, models which allow for the inclusion of both fixed and random predicting variables. In most analyses, random effect intercepts are treated as a by-product of the model; they are viewed simply as a way to fit a more accurate model. This paper presents additional uses for random effect intercepts within the context of two case studies. Specifically, this paper demonstrates how random intercepts can be exploited to assist studies of speaker style and identity and to normalize for vocal tract size within certain linguistic environments. We argue that, in addition to adopting mixed effect modeling more generally, sociolinguists should view random intercepts as a potential tool during analysis.


This article appears IN Language Variation and Change Vol. 24, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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