Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


May I Quote You on That?

By Stephen Spector

A guide to English grammar and usage for the twenty-first century, pairing grammar rules with interesting and humorous quotations from American popular culture.

New from Cambridge University Press!


The Cambridge Handbook of Endangered Languages

Edited By Peter K. Austin and Julia Sallabank

This book "examines the reasons behind the dramatic loss of linguistic diversity, why it matters, and what can be done to document and support endangered languages."

Academic Paper

Title: New contrast acquisition: methodological issues and theoretical implications
Author: Jennifer R. Nycz
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Georgetown University
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This article presents data on the acquisition of the low back vowel contrast by native speakers of Canadian English who have moved as adults to the New York City region, examining how these speakers who natively possess a single low back vowel category have acquired the low back vowel distinction of the new ambient dialect. The speakers show remarkable first dialect stability with respect to their low back vowel system, even after many years of new dialect exposure: in minimal pair contexts, nearly all of the speakers continue to produce and perceive a single vowel category. However, in word list and conversational contexts, the majority of speakers exhibit a small but significant phonetic difference between words like cot and caught, reflecting the separation of these word classes in the new dialect to which they are exposed; moreover, the realization of these words shows frequency effects consistent with a lexically gradual divergence of the two vowels. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for theories of phonological representation and change, as well as their methodological implications for the study of mergers- and splits-in-progress.


This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 17, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page