By Professor William Labov, Sharon Ash, Associate Professor of Linguistics Charles Boberg

"The Atlas of North American English" presents the 1st total view of the pronunciation and vowel structures of the dialects of the U.S. and Canada. The Atlas re-defines the neighborhood dialects of yankee English at the foundation of sound alterations lively within the Nineteen Nineties and attracts new barriers reflecting these adjustments. it's according to a cell survey of 762 neighborhood audio system, representing the entire urbanized parts of North the United States. it's been built by means of invoice Labov, one of many best sociolinguists of the realm, along with his colleagues Sharon Ash and Charles Boberg. The Atlas comprises a broadcast quantity observed through an interactive CD-ROM. beginning January 2006, the print and multimedia content material can be to be had on-line. it's a mixed variation: e-book and Multimedia CD-ROM. the broadcast quantity includes: 23 chapters that re-define the geographic barriers of North American dialects and hint the impact of gender, age, schooling, and town dimension at the growth of sound swap; findings that convey a dramatic and extending divergence of English in North the United States; 139 4 color maps that illustrate the nearby distribution of phonological and phonetic variables around the North American continent; and a hundred and twenty 4 color vowel charts of person audio system. The interactive multimedia CD-ROM supplementations the published articles and maps by way of delivering: a knowledge base with measurements of greater than 100,000 vowels and suggest values for 439 audio system; the Plotnik software for mapping all the person vowel structures; prolonged sound samples of all North American dialects; and interactive functions to augment school room displays. the web simply model offers print and multimedia content material. the web merely model bargains: simultaneous entry to the print and multimedia content material to all clients within the university/library community; a much wider number of interactive facts, maps, and audio samples that might be usually up to date; scholars with concurrent entry to investigate fabric for lecture room assignments.

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In the course of the pilot project, 52 speakers were interviewed in 41 communities ranging in population from 2,605 (Lena, IL) to 6,793,132 in the urbanized area of Chicago, IL in 1992 and 1993. 2. Expansion of the project The acoustic analyses of the first set of speakers showed a clear differentiation of the dialect regions of the Inland North, the North Central region, and the Midland, generally in accordance with the dialect boundaries established by other researchers, but showing a level of detail, precision, and consistency not previously achieved.

Once the Central Cities have been selected, it is in theory possible to assign every county to a ZI. In practice this is not true, because some counties have fewer than 100 households and so are not listed in the County Penetration Reports. In most cases, such counties can confidently be assigned to a ZI on the basis of 1 2 3 4 This project was supported by NSF under grant BNS91-11637, “A Survey of Sound Change in Progress”. The second phase of the Atlas was supported by NSF under grant SBR 92-22458, “A Telephone Survey of Sound Change in Progress”.

Peripheral and non-peripheral tracks in English phonological space oh Location in this acoustic space is relevant to the direction of movement of vowels when change is in progress. The general principles of chain shifting can be restated as: (2) In chain shifts, I. Tense nuclei move upward along a peripheral track. II. Lax nuclei move downward along a non-peripheral track. 3 illustrates the typical direction of movement in chain shifts. The arrows represent the typical directions of movement if the nuclei remain in their initial position; in North American English, they often shift peripherality.

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