This study investigates the association between speakers' personal attributes, such as political stance or military experience, and their variable pronunciations of Iraq/Iran, as elicited through a rapid anonymous survey. For both target items, speakers' choice of variant appears to be associated not with political affiliation but with two other factors: ability to speak a second language and military service. English speakers who report being able to speak a foreign language are more likely to employ a variant more aligned with the source language, [irɑ:k]/[irɑ:n], while those with a record of military service tend toward the Americanized variants, [ajræk]/ [ajræn]. These results suggest that while specific variants might index political attitude in contexts where the construction of a particular political identity is desirable, in the absence of such a context, speakers' choice of variant is governed primarily by experiential factors.
VARIATION IN THE IRAQ VOWELS OUTSIDE THE PUBLIC Forum: THE INDEXING OF POLITICAL PERSUASION RECONSIDERED
David J. Silva, Sharon A. Peters, Fahad Ben Duhaish, Sok-Hun Kim, Yilmin Koo, Lana Marji, Junsuk Park; VARIATION IN THE IRAQ VOWELS OUTSIDE THE PUBLIC Forum: THE INDEXING OF POLITICAL PERSUASION RECONSIDERED. American Speech 1 May 2011; 86 (2): 179–191. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-1337001
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