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The Northern Cities Shift and Local Identity in a Suburban Cleveland Group

McCarthy, Natalie Jean (2007) The Northern Cities Shift and Local Identity in a Suburban Cleveland Group. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study examines the use of the Northern Cities Shift (NCS) and local identity in a group of speakers from the Cleveland, Ohio area. Members of a suburban recreation center participated in audio recorded interviews, during which they answered questions about their personal background, their consumption practices, and their leisure activities, and engaged in conversation about their opinions and memories of the Cleveland area. Local identity was then scored using an identity index modeled after that in Kiesling, et al. (2005). A more locally loyal interview topic received a higher point value, while a less locally loyal topic received a lower point value. The sum of these values formed an overall identity score. Tokens of both (aeh) and (e) were gathered from each speaker's interview. Tokens of (o), (oh), (ey), and (iy) were also gathered as reference points within the vowel space of each speaker; these tokens were measured in a controlled, pre-fricative or alveolar stop environment. Using a Praat script, first and second formant measurements were gathered within the first third of each token. These measurements were then normalized. Using multiple regression, the vowel measurements were modeled based on the identity score and other social factors, including sex and age, and linguistic internal factors. This produced no statistically significant results. However, several subsections of the overall identity score were found to be statistically significant.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
McCarthy, Natalie Jeannjm23@pitt.eduNJM23
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKiesling, Scott Fkiesling@pitt.eduKIESLING
Committee MemberJohnstone,
Committee MemberMortensen, Daviddrm31@pitt.eduDRM31
Committee MemberGooden, Shelomesgooden@pitt.eduSGOODEN
Date: 19 September 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 25 July 2007
Approval Date: 19 September 2007
Submission Date: 6 August 2007
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: attitudes; change; Cleveland; dialect; identity; Northern Cities Shift; variation
Other ID:, etd-08062007-140652
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:57
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:48


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