Date of Completion

2017

Document Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Romance Languages and Linguistics

Type of Thesis

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Julie Roberts

Keywords

linguistics, glottalization, /t/, glottal stop, Vermont

Abstract

Despite the social perception that Vermont’s rural dialect is dying, /t/ glottalization has been found to be a highly robust feature, especially among adolescent and younger speakers (Roberts 2006). Naturally, this leads to questions as to the current status and future projections of the feature. In a study of Vermont speakers (Bellavance and Roberts 2016), aspiration following glottalization ([ʔʰ]) was found in the speech of all fourth graders. It is with these observations that this study sought answers to fine-tuned questions regarding Vermont glottalization. The informal interviews of 30 speakers were analyzed. The speakers comprised five females and five males of three age groups: kindergarten, fourth grade, and high school. 11,954 tokens were perceptually coded for seven variants of /t/: glottal stop replacement, glottal reinforcement, flap, deletion, aspirated /t/, creak, and aspiration following replacement.

A quantitative analysis of the data for replacement variants, using Rbrul (Johnson 2009), revealed the following: significant differences (p<.05) were found for word position, preceding segment, following segment, and grammatical status. The social factors, age and gender, were not significant. Results from the model show the fourth grade age group with the highest proportion of [ʔʰ] occurrence. Although this is not surprising given initial observations, the finding goes against the expected age group for language innovation (high school). Results from the study raise questions as to the allophonic status of [ʔʰ] as well as its usage among age groups. Additionally, anecdotal evidence raises questions regarding stance qualities of [ʔʰ] in high school speakers.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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