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Faking It: A Phonetic Analysis of Performed Vowels

Love, Meredith (2011) Faking It: A Phonetic Analysis of Performed Vowels. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study examines three phonemes /æ/, /ɑ/, and /ɔ/ as performed in a dialect instruction tape for actors and compares them to a natives speaking group from a study done by Hawkins and Midgley 2005. Weinreich 1968 argues that when two language groups are similar, learners gloss over close similarities. Based on this, I hypothesize that /ɑ/ will be least on target as it represents a small shift, while /æ/ and /ɔ/ will be faithful representations. The near-opposite proved true, with all of the performed vowels patterning as a statistically different group than the native speaking data. Based on the results of this study, I discuss performance in context of conscious and unconscious speech and the control a human has over his ability to achieve a new phoneme in a scenario where hypercorrection phenomena are quite common. I also argue that the nature of the performer-audience relationship has an impact on the performance, both in terms of the goals of performance and the abilities of the performer.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKiesling, Scott
Committee MemberMortensen,
Committee MemberGooden,
Date: 6 June 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 18 April 2011
Approval Date: 6 June 2011
Submission Date: 19 April 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Linguistics
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: David Alan Stern; linguistic performance; phonetic variation; performance; sociophonetics
Other ID:, etd-04192011-111659
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:39
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2016 12:07


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