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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.

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    Abstract

    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
    ETD Committee:
    ETD Committee TypeCommittee MemberEmail
    Committee ChairKiesling, Scott F.kiesling@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberMortensen, Daviddrm31@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberGooden, Shelomesgooden@pitt.edu
    Title: Faking It: A Phonetic Analysis of Performed Vowels
    Status: Unpublished
    Abstract: 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.
    Date: 06 June 2011
    Date Type: Completion
    Defense Date: 18 April 2011
    Approval Date: 06 June 2011
    Submission Date: 19 April 2011
    Access Restriction: No restriction; The work is available for access worldwide immediately.
    Patent pending: No
    Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
    Refereed: Yes
    Degree: MA - Master of Arts
    URN: etd-04192011-111659
    Uncontrolled Keywords: David Alan Stern; linguistic performance; phonetic variation; performance; sociophonetics
    Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Linguistics
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 14:39
    Last Modified: 23 May 2012 12:46
    Other ID: http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-04192011-111659/, etd-04192011-111659

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