24.327, Diss: Phonetics/ Socioling/ English: Ziliak: 'The Relationship between Perception and Production in Adult Acquisition of a New Dialect's Phonetic System'

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LINGUIST List: Vol-24-327. Fri Jan 18 2013. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 24.327, Diss: Phonetics/ Socioling/ English: Ziliak: 'The Relationship between Perception and Production in Adult Acquisition of a New Dialect's Phonetic System'

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Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2013 14:16:59
From: Zoe Ziliak [ziliak at ufl.edu]
Subject: The Relationship between Perception and Production in Adult Acquisition of a New Dialect's Phonetic System

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Institution: University of Florida 
Program: Department of Linguistics 
Dissertation Status: Completed 
Degree Date: 2012 

Author: Zoe Ziliak

Dissertation Title: The Relationship between Perception and Production in Adult 
Acquisition of a New Dialect's Phonetic System 

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
                     Sociolinguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)


Dissertation Director(s):
Hélène Blondeau

Dissertation Abstract:

This study investigates adults’ ability to change their phonetic systems in 
perception and production, specifically upon exposure to a new dialect in 
adulthood. It further addresses the relative importance of binary biological sex 
and socially constructed gender in predicting an individual’s sociolinguistic 
variation.

Perception and production data was collected from lifelong residents of southern 
Indiana, lifelong residents of Chicago, and individuals raised in southern Indiana 
who moved to Chicago in adulthood (the Mobile group). The Mobile participants 
were shifting from their native Lower Midland or Upper South dialect and 
adopting the Northern Cities Shift (NCS) characteristic of Chicago. A gender 
identity test, the Extended Personality Attributes Questionnaire, was also 
administered to each participant.

Results indicate that both perception and production are malleable in adulthood, 
but production may be more subject to change than perception. However, this 
relationship is not constant across individuals: some Mobile group members 
changed production more than perception, but others changed perception more, 
and still others had shifted the two equally or not at all. Analyses suggest that 
socially constructed gender and educational level may be reliable predictors of 
an individual’s pattern in adopting a second dialect’s phonetic system in 
adulthood. Interestingly, an individual’s femininity level may be more important 
than her masculinity in determining behavior.

This study has implications for the research areas of language change across 
the lifespan, gender and language, second dialect acquisition, second language 
acquisition, and American dialectology.






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