"Rootedness, Meaningful Places, and Southern Vowels"
Dr. Paul Reed, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders at the University of Alabama
Friday, March 25th, 9:00-10:30 AM EDT, via Zoom.
Place and its influence on linguistic production is a concept that is central and basic to most conceptions of variation. However, place is routinely depicted, conceptualized, and often modeled as a relatively static factor that affects all speakers in a given location in a uniform way. In particular, many, if not most, descriptions of the language variation in the AmericanSouth and Appalachia are rife with this misconception of monolithic place influence. The present talk will contest this notion and will demonstrate that individual speakers can have different degrees of connection to place, what Dr. Reed term rootedness. The difference in rootedness can and does affect linguistic production, from highly stigmatized and noticed features, such as /aɪ/ monophthongization, to much more subtle features that are not the subject of overt commentary, such as prosodic rhythm and pitch accent anchoring. Further, the impact of place can be much more narrowly defined than region, as meaningful small places can demonstrate the influence of rootedness.