This study compares the effects of city and ethnicity with respect to Quebec English speakers’ participation in two ongoing changes affecting/æ/in Canadian English: retraction as part of the Canadian Vowel Shift and tensing in prenasal environments. Quebec English speakers might be expected to differ in their behavior with regard to these two phenomena as compared to other Canadian English speakers. Based on an analysis of Euclidean distances and a mixed-effects model using spontaneous speech, the authors find that Quebec English speakers are less advanced with respect to the Canadian Shift, especially speakers from Quebec City. For tensing, British-origin speakers from Montreal and Quebec City are found to pattern similarly, participating in the more widespread patterning, while Jewish and Italian speakers are moving in the opposite direction. The authors argue that this move away from characteristically Canadian patterns is an artifact of the interplay between the two phenomena under study, reflective of differential replication of the Canadian Shift in the two environments.
Dynamics of Short-a in Montreal and Quebec City English
michael friesner is an assistant professor, teaching stream, in the Department of French at the University of Toronto. He holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from George-town University. His research involves variationist sociolinguistics, focusing specifically on issues related to language and dialect contact in Quebec. Email: email@example.com.
laura kastronic specializes in sociolinguistics, language variation and change, language contact, and bilingualism. Her research focuses on multiple varieties of French and English. She completed her M.A. in linguistics at Université du Québec à Montréal and her Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of Ottawa. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
jeffrey lamontagne is an assistant professor in the Department of French and Italian at Indiana University Bloomington. He completed his M.A. in linguistics at the University of Ottawa and his Ph.D. in linguistics at McGill University. His research primarily focuses on phonetic and phonological variation, sound change, and French. Email: email@example.com.
Michael Friesner, Laura Kastronic, Jeffrey Lamontagne; Dynamics of Short-a in Montreal and Quebec City English. American Speech 1 November 2021; 96 (4): 450–480. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-8791781
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