American Speech 80.2 (Summer 2005) contents

Grant Barrett gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG
Fri Apr 22 01:50:30 UTC 2005

Below find abstracts and contents for the summer 2005 issue of American
Speech, volume 80, number 2. Members of the American Dialect Society
receive the journal (and one annual Publication of the American Dialect
Society) as part of their membership. If you are not yet a member, you
can join here:

American Speech 80.2 (Summer 2005)

Words Crisscrossing the Sea: How Words Have Been Borrowed between
England and America
Allen Walker Read

ABSTRACT: [Read's previously unpublished Joseph S. Schick lecture is] a
compilation of clippings and text in Allen’s inimitable hand. Written
in the coherent and elegant style that marks all of Allen’s work, the
document seemed to me to contain many records of the relations of
English and American speech that were far from common knowledge. In
particular, it revealed positive reactions of the English to the new
American lexicon, quite different from the condemnation that we have
come to think of as normal.

German Substrate Effects in Wisconsin English: Evidence for Final
Thomas Purnell, Joseph Salmons, and Dilara Tepeli

ABSTRACT: A once predominately German-speaking community in Watertown,
Wisconsin, shows distinct phonetic and phonological traces of that
immigrant heritage in the speech of its English-speaking monolinguals.
Acoustic and perceptual studies suggest that speakers do not produce
all the expected cues for English final laryngeal distinctions, nor do
they exploit those cues to the same degree as a set of control
speakers. This instance, for which the language varieties and contact
situation involved are all well understood, provides good evidence for
structural influence from a substrate and provides a challenge to
conventional views of language contact.

Low Back Vowel Merger in Missouri Speech: Acoustic Description and
Tivoli Majors

ABSTRACT: Across much of the United States, the phonemic contrast
between the vowels of cot and caught is being lost through a sound
change known as the low back vowel merger. This paper examines the
spread of this merger in the state of Missouri. Acoustic examination of
F0, F1, F2, F3, and vowel duration reveals that speakers in the greater
St. Louis area maintain the phonemic distinction between /a/ and /O/,
while in much of the state, this distinction is being lost or
diminished. In addition to static formant measures, the formant
trajectories of the two vowels are examined, and it is found that in
St. Louis speech, the VC consonantal transition of F2 is accomplished
more quickly for /O/ than for /a/. Although the F2 transitions of the
two vowels differ, their overall spectral shapes are more similar than
other comparable vowel pairs such as /æ/ and /E/, which are not
undergoing widespread merger. The dynamic similarity between /a/ and
/O/ is posited as a partial explanation for why this particular merger
is spreading so rapidly throughout the United States.

The Uses and Meanings of the Female Title /Ms./
Janet M. Fuller

ABSTRACT: This article examines the use of the female title /Ms./ by
students, faculty, and staff at a Midwestern university in the United
States using data generated with the written survey used by Donna
Lillian (1993) in a similar study in Canada. Findings show that faculty
are fairly consistent in their understanding of /Ms./ as a neutral
title to be used for all women and are more likely to choose this title
than students and staff. Student responses show a wide range of
meanings for /Ms./, with the meanings ‘young’ and ‘single’ being the
most common. Female students were far less likely to select /Ms./ than
male students, showing a gender gap in the student data that is not
seen in the staff and faculty responses. These data show multiple
meanings and patterns of female title use in the United States today,
with little evidence pointing toward a decrease in this variation.

Among the New Words
Wayne Glowka, Kathryn Ball, Scott Daniel, Debra Dent, Charles Farmer,
Nicole Hensel, James McAfee, Lee Ogletree,
Jessica Rossin, and David K. Barnhart

badly sourced
blue state
poorly sourced
purple state
red state

/Milestones in the History of English in American/, by Allen Walker
Read, edited by Richard W. Bailey
Michael Adams


Posted by Grant Barrett
American Dialect Society Webmaster
gbarrett at

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