The /ay/ diphthong in a Martha's Vineyard community: What can we say 40 years after Labov?

Renee Blake, Meredith Josey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This article revisits Labov's (1962,1972a) germinal sociolinguistic work on Martha's Vineyard speech, providing a synchronic analysis of the /ay/ diphthong in words like right and time, and, in turn, a diachronic perspective on a sound change in progress. Labov observed that the first element of the /ay/ diphthong was raised in the speech of Martha's Vineyarders, particularly fishermen, and he correlated it with social factors like identity (i.e., local heritage) and resistance to summer visitors. The present authors provide a sociolinguistic analysis of /ay/ from a new set of data collected in a Martha's Vineyard speech community. The outcome suggests a change in the linguistic pattern observed by Labov, which the authors argue is linked to socio-economic restructuring and resulting ideological changes taking place on the island. The acoustic and social factors are analyzed using VARBRUL to show how /ay/ variation today patterns with various internal and external factors found to be salient in Labov's earlier study.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)451-485
    Number of pages35
    JournalLanguage in Society
    Volume32
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 2003

    Fingerprint

    sociolinguistics
    social factors
    community
    acoustics
    restructuring
    linguistics
    economics
    William Labov
    Vineyard
    time
    Acoustics
    Synchronic Analysis
    Heritage
    Sound Change
    Local Identity
    Diachrony
    Speech Community
    Economic Restructuring
    Summer
    Salient

    Keywords

    • Dialectology
    • Linguistic variation
    • Martha's Vineyard
    • Sociolinguistics
    • Sound change

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Linguistics and Language
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Language and Linguistics

    Cite this

    The /ay/ diphthong in a Martha's Vineyard community : What can we say 40 years after Labov? / Blake, Renee; Josey, Meredith.

    In: Language in Society, Vol. 32, No. 4, 09.2003, p. 451-485.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Blake, Renee ; Josey, Meredith. / The /ay/ diphthong in a Martha's Vineyard community : What can we say 40 years after Labov?. In: Language in Society. 2003 ; Vol. 32, No. 4. pp. 451-485.
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