Tag Archives: English

Sesame Street does Sociophonetics

“Rosita doesn’t want to speak, ever again! She doesn’t like the way she sounds. She says she sounds different.” — Big Bird   Today I happened upon an episode of Sesame Street that’s all about sociolinguistics. The vignette touches on sociophonetic variation, bilingualism, ethnicity, … Continue reading

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Doctor-Directed Speech, and Me

My first memory of a sociophonetic experience that led to an actual research project was when I was about seventeen years old. I was seeing a new doctor in my hometown (Flagstaff, Arizona), and I was surprised to hear myself … Continue reading

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When ‘big’ starts with /p/ and ‘pig’ starts with /b/

I’m writing because of another little language acquisition oddity. I’m basically curious to hear if anyone else has known a kid who’s done the thing that my kid is doing. Let me say off the bat: I’m not worried about this … Continue reading

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How does a 2-year-old remember a funny accent after many months?

This is for you, NWAV44! The biggest annual conference in variationist sociolinguistics, NWAV, is taking place right now in Toronto. There was a time in my life when I would’ve never missed an NWAV, but this is the second year in a … Continue reading

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Two weeks later: ‘English’

This is a brief addendum to my previous post from two weeks ago about my daughter’s emergent and idiosyncratic typology of language types. Today she mentioned a new one: English. And what it seems to mean is ‘speaking correctly’. We were reading books at … Continue reading

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One year later: A native accent lost, a linguistic typology gained

My daughter is now 2 and 3/4 years old. This post is about what currently seem to be her three conceptual categories of language: unmarked, Spanish, and America. ‘Unmarked’ is just my way of referring to aspects of language she … Continue reading

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The Likely Future Demise of ‘Gotcha Day’

I’m a linguist, but I work with sounds, not words. And I mostly work on describing patterns of pronunciation that already exist, rather than making too many predictions about the future. When I do make predictions, they’re on the order … Continue reading

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