ILA: Linguistics talk tomorrow at John Jay College

The International Linguistic Association presents a talk tomorrow by Michael Newman, Associate Professor of Linguistics at Queens College.

How can you sound Asian in American English?: A dialect recognition and sociophonetic study of Korean and Chinese Americans’ native English

In paired dialect identification tasks, differing only by speakers’ sex, more than 200 CUNY students were asked to identify the race and national heritage of other New Yorkers. Each task included two Chinese Americans, two Korean Americans, two European Americans, a Latino, and an African American. Listeners were mostly successful at identifying speakers’ races but not at differentiating the Chinese from Koreans. An acoustic analysis identified breathier voice as a factor separating those Asian Americans most frequently identified, on the one hand, from non-Asians and Asians least successfully identified, on the other. Also, the Chinese and Latino men’s speech appeared more syllable timed than the others’ speech. These results support extending the robust US tendency for linguistic differentiation by race to Asian Americans, although this differentiation does not rise to the level of a systematic racial dialect as it does for racially-specific varieties like African American English.

The talk will take place tomorrow (Saturday, February 13, 2010), at 11 AM here:

John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Conference Room, Department of English (7th Floor)
619 West 54th Street (between 11th and 12th Avenues)
New York, NY 10019