Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Disappearing Vowels 'Caught' On Tape In US Midwest

Date:
October 30, 2009
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
Try to pronounce the words "caught" and "cot." If you're a New Yorker by birth, the two words will sound as different as their spellings. But if you grew up in California, you probably pronounce them identically

Try to pronounce the words "caught" and "cot." If you're a New Yorker by birth, the two words will sound as different as their spellings. But if you grew up in California, you probably pronounce them identically.

Related Articles


American English is slowly changing; across the nation, the two "low-back" vowel sounds in these words are merging, region by region. Now Christina Esposito of the Macalester College has tracked the change sweeping eastwards across the Midwest into Minnesota. She will present her findings at a meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) next week in San Antonio, TX.

Working with undergraduate students Hannah Kinney and Kaitlyn Arctander, she asked Minnesotans to read a list of 100 words that contain these vowels, recorded the speech, and analyzed patterns within the recordings.

"We make a visual representation of the speech, a spectrogram," says Esposito. "Every single vowel has its own unique frequencies, like a fingerprint."

Unlike past studies of other areas of the country, which rely interviewing people over the telephone and judging differences by ear, Esposito's experiment recorded and dissected the speech quantitatively. Her results suggest that 30 percent of Minnesotans have lost the distinction between the two vowel sounds.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "Disappearing Vowels 'Caught' On Tape In US Midwest." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091026152814.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2009, October 30). Disappearing Vowels 'Caught' On Tape In US Midwest. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091026152814.htm
American Institute of Physics. "Disappearing Vowels 'Caught' On Tape In US Midwest." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091026152814.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins