**Please do not duplicate without permission**

 

Study title:  Pacific Northwest Dialect Study

Researchers: Alicia Wassink, Jeffrey Conn

Date:  Summer 2005

 

On this webpage:

Appendix A. Phonemes targeted in the word list

Appendix B. Plotnik word classes and phonetic environments

Appendix C. Targeted sociolinguistic variables

Appendix D. Reading passage

Appendix E.  Word list

Appendix F. Telephone Survey Script and Semantic Differential Elicitation

Appendix G. Demographic and social network questionnaire

 

 

 

Appendix A. Phonemes targeted in the word list

 

Phoneme

Word Class

Targets

 

Phoneme

Word Class

Targets

/i/

(iy)

heat, heed

 

/u/

(uw)

hoot, Whod

/ɪ/

(i)

hit, hid

 

/ʊ/

(u)

put, hood

/eɪ/

(ey)

hate, aid

 

/(j)u/

(iw)

dew, suit

/ɛ/

(e)

Ett, head

 

/oʊ/

(ow)

oat, Hode

//

()

hat, had

 

/ɔ/

(oh)

ought, awed

/ʌ/

()

hut, Hudd

 

/a/

(ah)

pa

/ɚ/

(r)

hurt, heard

 

/a/

(o)

hot, odd

/aɪ/

(ay)

height, hide

 

/ɔɪ/

(oy)

Hoyt, Boyd

/aʊ/

(aw)

out, howd

 

 

 

 

 


Appendix B. Plotnik word classes and phonetic environments

 

Short Vowels

Front Vowels

Back Vowels

Other Vowels

Example

Vowel

Example

Vowel

Example

Vowel

Example

Vowel

pit

(i)

see

(iyF)

dew

(iw)

sigh/side

(ayV)

pet

(e)

seat

(iyC)

do

(Tuw)*

sight

(ay0)

pat

()

say

(eyF)

boot

(Kuw)

down

(aw)

ban

(hN)

safe

(eyC)

go

(owF)

boy

(oy)

pot

(o)

 

 

goat

(owC)

father

(ah)

putt

(ʌ)

 

 

caught

(oh)

 

 

put

(u)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*coronal onset

 

 

Pre-/r/ allophones

Pre-/l/ allophones

here

(iyr)

for

(ohr)

feel

(iyl)

fool

(uwl)

there

(eyr)

four

(owr)

fill

(il)

full

(ul)

fire

(ayr)

tour

(uwr)

fail

(eyl)

goal

(owl)

hour

(awr)

fur

(ɚ)

fell

(el)

gull

(l)

far

(ahr)

 

 

pal

(l)

hall

(ohl)

 

 

 

 

file

(ayl)

doll

(ol)

 

 

 

 

foul

(awl)

 

 

 


Appendix C. Targeted sociolinguistic variables

Region

Variable

Northern California

(u)-fronting/lowering

Southern, Northern California

(uw)-fronting

Southern/Midland;  Northern California; pre-nasal /ow/ constitutes a  conservative environment (Conn, 2002; Ward, 2003)

(ow)-fronting

Northern Cities

(ow)-monophthongization

Northern Cities

(ey)-monophthongization

Northern Cities Shift

() - tensing

Northern Cities Shift (Zeller, 1997)

(ɡ) – tensing

Northern Cities Shift, Mid-Atlantic

(N) - tensing

Northern California, Canada

() - backing

Northern California, Canada

(ɛ)- lowering

Northern California, Pittsburgh, New England

(a~ɔ)-merger/backing

Southern, African American English

(ay)-monophthongization

Southern, AAVE

Prenasal merger of (i)~(ɛ)

Southern, Utah

Pre lateral /i/~/ɛ/ merger/reversal

Southern, Utah

Pre lateral /u/~/ʊ/ merger/reversal

Southern

Pre lateral /e/~/ɛ/ reversal

Canada, Northern Cities, Philadelphia

(ay0)

Fronting in Southern and Californian; Backing in Northern Cities Shift

(ʌ)

 


Appendix D: Reading passage

 

reading passage

 

From Aesops Fables

The Cat and the Mice

 

           Once upon a time, there was a house that was taken over by mice.  A cat heard about this and said to herself, I would be happy in that home. That night, she went and moved in with the family that lived in the house.  Then, the fight between the cat and the mice began. The cat quickly made a habit of catching the Mice and biting off their heads.  At last the mice could stand it no more, and they decided to go into their holes and stay there.  Thats not very nice, said the cat to herself. Now the only thing to do is to coax them out by a trick.  So she thought for a while, and came up with a plan. Excited by her new scheme, she climbed up the wall and let herself hang down by her back legs from a peg and pretended to be dead.  By and by, a mouse peeped out and saw the cat hanging there, like a spider on its web.  Aha! the mouse cried. Youre very smart, no doubt, but you can turn yourself into a bag of potatoes hanging there if you like, but you wont catch us coming anywhere near you.

 

If you are wise, you wont be fooled by the innocent actions of those you have once found to be dangerous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix E.  Word list

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Word

List

 

 

bus

height

night

howd

good

move

fill

big

down

toast

left

dead

Boyd

head

bag

best

Hoyt

car

side

Kay

egg

hut

bait

boat

off

bad

face

beat

park

goal

fish

set

say

spike

pen

cook

beg

heed

sit

sat

bowl

toe

heat

fast

mad

out

home

do

fell

eyes

hide

right

moss

see

dad

aid

pin

paw

tore

fan

key

kid

Ett

miss

dawn

hurt

hate

bike

other

sad

back

sort

bath

south

dog

hood

pa

funny

tie

cough

mouse

talk

bone

pal

house

bug

mess

now

family

foot

hit

fight

caught

fur

pipe

mouth

on

cab

tight

nice

Hudd

bite

duck

fool

had

job

dew

Don

full

shop

hot

nut

toy

sky

cow

suit

life

day

rider

hoot

mice

goat

dull

school

son

chew

sock

heard

whod

father

cot

odd

go

oat

bee

noise

zoo

door

choice

boy

Hode

take

put

moist

pest

up

food

ought

hall

ton

heed

hid

past

vice

voice

tour

tape

awed

spice

time

tongue

type

 

 


Appendix F. Telephone Survey Script and Semantic Differential Elicitation

 

A TELEPHONE SURVEY OF NORTHWESTERN SPEAKERS

 

Linguistics Laboratory, University of Washington/Portland State University

 

 

0. Approach.

 

Hi, my name is ________.  I'm calling from the University of WA/Portland State Univ.  We're doing research on the communication patterns of people living in the Pacific Northwest. Can you take a few minutes now to answer some questions?

 

In order to be able to keep track of everything you can tell us, I need to be able to make a recording of this conversation.  Is that all right with you?  (If informant is hesitant: I can assure you that this information is used only by our research group for our reports about Northwestern communication, and no information identifying individuals is ever released.  If still hesitant: If we come to a question you don't think you want to answer, just tell me and we'll skip it.  I don't think you'll have a problem with any of the questions I'm going to ask you.)

 

Turn recorder on and tell informant you have done so.

 

1. Residential and Language Background.

 

               Confirm place of birth: Now, where were you born?

Full residence history and approximate ages in each location. Get neighborhood/suburb information.

               Where mother born.

               Where father born.

               Languages spoken in family while growing up.

               Second language learning.

 

2. Conversation.

 

               2.1 Communication Experience and Travel:

               - Have you noticed that people in different parts of the country talk differently from yourself? What sort of differences have you noticed?

               - Have you ever had a problem understanding people in other parts of the country because of their accent or because of different words they used?

               - Where have you traveled?

               - Do you think there is a unique way of talking in the Northwest?  Different from California?  Is Seattle different from Portland?  What about other towns in WA/OR?  Eastern/Western?

 

               2.2 Local Color:

               - Would you say that Seattle/Portland is a nice place to live? Why or why not?

               - Do you think you have to have grown up here to be a Portlander/Seattleite?  Do you consider yourself a Northwesterner?

               - What types of jobs do people have here?

               - Where do you think most of the people are from in the NW?  California resentment?

               - Are there lots of new houses going up?

               - What are the best neighborhoods/suburbs to live in?

- What cities do you think are included in the Metro area?  Is Vancouver/Everett part of the Metro area?

               - What do you do for fun on the weekends?

               - What sports teams do you support?

               - What newspapers do you read?

               - What other cities do you go to for recreation or shopping?  (Pick 2 or 3 largest cities in                                            vicinity and explore the choice between them for different activities.)

 

               2.3 Downtown:

               - Do you ever go downtown?

               - Are there things to do downtown?

               - Is it safe to walk around downtown at night?

               - Can you find parking downtown?  Is it expensive?

- Where do you usually spend your time?  Where do you shop?

 

3. Lists.

 

Now I'm going to ask you to say a few things for me that will help us with our study.

 

a) First of all I'd like you to count for me from 1 to 10.

b) And would you please say the days of the week?

c) And now could you please list as many articles of clothing as you can think of.

               If necessary, elicit:

               - PANTS: what's another word for slacks?

               - COAT: what's another word for jacket? (longer, dressier)

               - HAT/CAP: what would you wear on your head?

               - BOOTS: what does a construction worker or a cowboy wear on his feet?

d) And now could please tell me what sort of things people you know eat for breakfast, especially if they go out for a big breakfast on the weekend?

               If necessary, elicit:

               - EGGS: What are omelettes made of?

               - BACON/SAUSAGE/HAM: What meats do people eat with eggs?

               - TOAST: What do you put butter or jam on?

               - COFFEE/TEA: What do people drink with breakfast?

e) And finally could you list as many farm animals as you can think of?

               If necessary, elicit:

               -DUCK(S): what (other) kinds of bird might you find on a farm?

 

 

4. Formal Elicitation of Linguistic Variables.

 

Now I need you to say certain words, but I don't want to say them first because that may influence the way you say them.  So I'll ask you questions that get you to say the words and then we'll talk about whether certain words sound the same or different to you.  OK?  (It's not a test or anything; it's just a way of getting you to say certain words.  I'll give you as many clues as you need.)

 

               4.1 (o-oh):

 

a) If a mother deer is called a doe, what would you call a baby deer? Starts with an f.[FAWN]

b) What's another word for sunrise, or for the first part of the day when the sun's just coming up? [DAWN]

c) Do those words rhyme?  (Could you use them to rhyme in a poem?)

d) Can you think of any boy's names that rhyme with those words? [DON, RON, JOHN?]

               If necessary, elicit:

               - DON: What's the first name of Walt Disney's famous duck?  What's short for that?

e) Does that name sound the same as the word for sunrise you just said?  (If someone said those two words to you over the phone, could you tell them apart?)

f) Can you say them again for me and tell me which one is which?  (If necessary: which one was first?)

g) What's another boy's name that starts with D and ends with N? [DAN]

 

a) What's the past tense of catch? (Like if today I catch the ball, yesterday I ...?) [CAUGHT]

b) What's the opposite of cold? [HOT]

c) Do those words rhyme?

d) Can you say them for me one more time?

 

a) What does a child put on his foot before he puts his shoe on? [SOCK]

b) What's another word for speak that starts with a T? (Like what we're doing on the phone right now.) [TALK]
c) Do those words rhyme?

d) Can you say them for me one more time?

 

a) What's the opposite of shorter (if you're talking about the height of people)? [TALLER]

b) How much money do four quarters make? [DOLLAR]

c) Do those words rhyme?

d) Can you say them for me one more time?

 

a) What's the opposite of off? [ON]

b) If the informant made a distinction between DON and DAWN: Going back to the two words we had before, the guy's name spelled D-O-N and the girl's name D-A-W-N, which of those would you say the word ON sounds like?

 

a) Whats the opposite of upset or anxious that starts with a C? [CALM]

b) Whats the ending of a web address?  For example: www dot something [DOT COM]

c) Does the very end of a web address sound like the word for not anxious?  Can you say them again and tell me which is which?

 

               4.2 Semantic Differentials (1):

 

Now I have a few questions about the meanings of different words.  Tell me, in your opinion,

a) What's the difference in meaning between a BUNK and a COT?

b) What's the difference between a HOME and a HOUSE?

c) What's the difference between a POND and a POOL?

d) What's the difference between a DECK and a PORCH?

e) What's the difference between to SIT and to SET?

f) What's the difference between a FIGHT and a ARGUMENT?

g) What's the difference between a TART and a PIE?

h) Whats the difference between a GUY and a BOY?

 

               4.3 Lexicon:

 

a) What's the general term you use for a carbonated beverage in your area? [POP, SODA, COKE, etc.]  (If unsure: if you were going to buy a can of Coke or Pepsi or Sprite out of a machine, what would you call the machine?)

b) What do you call it when you prepare meat outside over a charcoal fire in the summertime? [GRILL(ING) (OUT), BARBECUE, COOKOUT]

c) Do grilling and barbecuing mean the same thing?  If no: what's the difference? [SAUCE]

d) If not already answered: What kinds of things would you barbecue?  Grill?

e) What do you call a large piece of furniture that seats three people? [COUCH, SOFA, DAVENPORT, CHESTERFIELD, etc.]

f) What do you call the top part of a house, that keeps the rain out? [ROOF]

 

               4.4 (i-e/_N):

 

a) What would you use to sign a check with? [PEN]

b) What would you use to fasten a cloth diaper? (A safety ...) [PIN]

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.

 

(If pin and pen are close or the same:

a) If you gave a book to Mary you'd say I gave it to her; if you gave it to John you'd say I gave it to ... [HIM]

b) What do you call the bottom part of a dress where it's folded up and sewn in place? [HEM].

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.)

 

               4.5 (tense/lax contrasts before /l/):

 

a) What's the opposite of empty? [FULL]

b) What's another word for an idiot or a stupid person?  (Begins with F as in Frank).  [FOOL]

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.

 

(If full and fool are close or the same:

a) What's a place where you go swimming in the backyard? [POOL]

b) What's the opposite of push? [PULL]

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.)

 

a) What happens when a knife gets used a lot?  The opposite of sharp? [DULL]

b) What's the opposite of push? [PULL]

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.

 

a) What's a word for a little mountain? [HILL]

b) What do you call the back part of the bottom of your foot? [HEEL]

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.

 

(If hill and heel are close or the same:

a) What's a word for the skin of an orange? [PEEL]

b) What's the little thing you swallow when you take aspirin? [PILL]

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.)

 

a) If you're talking about grades in school, what's the opposite of pass? [FAIL]

b) What's the past tense of fall? (Like if today I fall, yesterday I ...) [FELL]

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.

 

(If fail and fell are close or the same:

a) What's the big piece of cloth you put up on a boat to make it go? [SAIL]

b) And what's the opposite of buy, like to buy a car? [SELL]  Make sure they are not saying sale!!

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.)

 

a) What's the male counterpart of a cow? [BULL]

b) And what's the dish you eat cereal out of in the morning? [BOWL]

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.

 

a) What do you call the bottom part of a boat, which goes in the water? [HULL]

b) What's another word for a corridor (the long space you walk down to go from one room to another in a building)? [HALL]

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.

 

               4.6 (ah-oh-ow/_r):

 

a) What kind of animal runs in the Kentucky Derby (what does a cowboy ride)? [HORSE]

b) What do you call the way you feel when your throat is kind of scratchy and sore so you can't talk very well? [HOARSE]

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.

 

(If horse and hoarse are close or distinct:

a) What do you call the first part of the day, before noon? [MORNING]

b) When someone is grieving because somebody close to them has just died, you say they're in ... [MOURNING].

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.)

 

a) What's the thing that runs between an electrical appliance and the wall socket? [CORD]

b) What's the thing you write Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas on? [CARD]

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.

 

(If cord and card are close or the same:

What's the name for an area in a city with trees? In NY its Central [PARK]

Whats the word we use when we eat pig? Sweet and sour [PORK]

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.)

 

               4.7 (/_g,d) -- Semantic Differentials (2):

 

a) What's the difference for you in meaning between a BAG and a SACK?

b) What's the difference between a LABEL and a TAG?

c) What's the difference between a BAD person and an EVIL person?

d) What's the difference between being UNHAPPY and being SAD?

 

               4.8 Aspirated glides -- (hw, hj):

 

a) What's a great big animal like a fish except it's a mammal (lives in the ocean and spouts water)? [WHALE]

b) What do you call a sound like a siren or a baby's cry, also starts with W? [WAIL]

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.

 

a) If someone can laugh at a good joke, you say he has a good sense of ... [HUMOR]

b) What's a word that means very, very big, or enormous, starts with H? [HUGE]

 

               4.10 (uw-juw/[+cor]_):

 

a) If you're getting married, what do you say when you're asked if you take the other person to be your wife or husband? [DO]

b) What do you call the moisture that's on the grass in the early morning? [DEW]

c) Do those words sound the same to you?

d) Say them again for me and tell me which one's which.

 

               4.11 Southern Shift items:

 

a) What's a hot drink you might put milk, sugar or lemon in? [TEA]

b) What's a small, round green vegetable that comes in a pod? [PEA]

c) What do 24 hours make (what are there seven of in a week)? [DAY]

d) What's the letter in the alphabet after J? [K]

 

5. Syntactic Variables.

 

Now I just have one more section of language questions for you.  In this section I'd like to ask you to tell me what you think of a few sentences I'm going to read you.  These are sentences that sound fine to people in some parts of the country but a little strange to people in other parts of the country.  For each sentence I read you, I'd like you to tell me whether you think it sounds like something you could say yourself, or something you've heard around your area but you wouldn't say, or something you've never heard before.  OK?  So here's the first one:

 

a) What if there were crumbs on the kitchen floor and someone said, "the floor needs swept"?

b) What if a mother said to her child, "your hair needs cut"?

c) What if you were looking at the price of a new car and someone said, "boy, cars are sure expensive anymore!"?

d) What if someone said, "it's real hard to find a good job anymore"?

e) What if someone said, "I used to watch football, but anymore I watch baseball"?

f) What if someone asked you, "remember those one kids we saw last week?"

g) What if someone asked you, "I'm going to the store; d'you wanna come with?"

h) What if someone asked, "Do you want for me to go downtown today?"

i) What if someone asked, "Would you like for me to pick up some milk on the way home?"

j) What if you said to someone, I have a real headache, and they said, so dont I!?

k) What if you said to someone, I can just see the look on his face. and they said, so cant I!?

 

6. Personal History/Demographic Data:

 

Those are all the language questions I have for you.  Now I just need to ask you a couple more things so that we can place you properly in our sample.

 

a) What year were you born?

b) Where did you go to high school?

c) What were the main racial and ethnic groups in your school? (approx. %, if appropriate)

d) What's your own family's ethnic background?  (--> conversation?)

e) What is/was your father's occupation?  Your mother's? (--> conversation?)

c) Did you take any schooling beyond high school?  What, where?

d) What's your occupation? (--> conversation?)

               - Do you enjoy your job?

               - What exactly does it involve?

               - So tell me, since you're an expert in this, I've always wondered ...?

               - etc., as appropriate.

 

7. Continuing Contact:

 

There's just one other thing I'd like to ask you to do.  As you can tell, we try to get everybody we talk to say certain words and the easiest and quickest way to do that is to mail or email out a list of words that people can read back to us over the phone, which takes about five minutes.  If I mailed or emailed you a wordlist and then called you back in a couple of weeks, do you think you could spare five minutes to read me the list over the phone?  If yes: Great, then I'll just need to get your name and address so I can send you the list.  ...  What would be a good time to get hold of you?

 

Well, once again, my name is _____, and I'm at the University of Washington/Portland State University, and I'd like to thank you very much for the time you've taken to do this interview.  You've really been a big help!


8. Answers to closing questions:

 

Q: So what's this study all about again?

 

A: This is a study of the way people in the Northwest talk. We're interested in finding out what dialects and accents are represented in the Northwest, as well as if there is a unique way of talking thats developing in the Northwest.  For instance, one of the things I was asking you about was how you said words like hot and caught, or sock and talk.  This is one of the major differences between the way people talk in different parts of the country.  Most people in the West say those words the same, as do people in Canada and in a couple of other areas (Pittsburgh and Boston), whereas people in the South, the Midwest and the East mostly say them differently.  We want to know how everyone who lives in the northwest talks, and particularly if natives of the area are developing their own dialect.

 

Q: Why is this important?

 

It's important for several reasons.  First, it's important to linguists, who want find out more about the way language changes.  (Like how did the English language evolve from Old English to the language of Shakespeare to the language of today, and why do Americans talk differently from British people?)  Second, it's important to people who study dialects, because while major European countries, like Britain, France and Germany, have national maps of linguistic variation the U.S. does not.  Third, its important in developing more effective teaching methods, either in teaching English to adults or in teaching reading and spelling to children.  (These strategies need to be sensitive to dialect variation, such as whether or not children will make a difference between pin and pen.)  Fourth, it's important to the speech technology industry, because if computers are going to be taught how to understand human language, they have to be able to cope with different dialects.  (Example: a computer at the phone company that needs to understand callers from one area who say Don and Dawn differently and callers from another area who say them the same.)  We can provide some of the information that the computer designers need to create effective speech recognition technologies.

 

Q: Who is paying you to do this?

 

A: Our work is supported by a grants from the National Science Foundation.

 

Q: What are you going to do with the results?

 

A: Publications, journals, etc.

 

Q: Can I see some of your results?

 

A: Certainly.  We will have a website.

 

Appendix G. Demographic and social network questionnaire