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Rhythm in Stockholm’s two working-class varieties: Separate models predict intervocalic durational contrast
Queen Mary, University of London, UK.
2018 (English)In: Proceedings 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018 / [ed] Katarzyna Klessa, Jolanta Bachan, Agnieszka Wagner, Maciej Karpiński, Daniel Śledziński, Poznań, Poland: The International Speech Communication Association (ISCA), 2018, p. 448-452Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This study shows that two distinct social models predict speech rhythm variation -- measured by the *normalized pairwise variability index of vowels* (*nPVI-V*) -- for Stockholm's two working classes. The non-white working-class variety (multiethnolect) has *less* intervocalic durational contrast than the speech of elites (41--51 vs. 49--57) and correlates with the speaker's neighborhood diversity. Incremental *increases* in neighborhood diversity correlate with incremental *decreases* in nPVI-V. The white working-class variety has *more* intervocalic durational contrast than the speech of elites (53--61 vs. 49--57) and correlates to occupational status. Incremental *decreases* in occupational status correlate with incremental *increases* in nPVI-V. The data comes from 31 male Stockholmers, ages 24--49, who read aloud a passage with 285 vocalic elements. Thirteen self-identify as white `Swedes': five working class, eight upper-middle class (`elites'). Eighteen self-identify as non-white `immigrants': five working class, seven lower-middle class, six upper-middle class (`elites'). Twenty-eight were born in Sweden; three arrived before age four. They hail from five neighborhood types that are representative of Stockholm's geographic ethnic distributions. The findings add Swedish multiethnolect to a growing list of contact varieties with less intervocalic durational contrast than their heritage counterparts. The findings also nudge our field's discussion of rhythm away from second-language acquisition to the social domain of race and class. At the same time, a new research question emerges whether intervocalic durational contrast is a sociolinguistic variable in its own right or a byproduct of segment-level variation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Poznań, Poland: The International Speech Communication Association (ISCA), 2018. p. 448-452
Series
Speech Prosody, E-ISSN 2333-2042
Keywords [en]
multiethnolect, nPVI, Rinkeby Swedish, Stockholm Swedish, variationist sociolinguistics, vernacular
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics Specific Languages
Research subject
Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-173469DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-91OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-173469DiVA, id: diva2:1354031
Conference
9th International Conference on Speech Prosody, Poznań, Poland, 13-16 June, 2018
Available from: 2019-09-24 Created: 2019-09-24 Last updated: 2019-09-25Bibliographically approved

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