Longitudinal tracking of second dialect acquisition normally requires carefully planned data collection and years of patience. However, the rise of self-recorded public speech data on internet archives such as YouTube affords researchers with a novel way of tracking language change over time. This article presents two case studies of YouTube vloggers who have recorded their voices over the course of a decade (or longer) and have also relocated from different dialect regions of the United States to the West Coast. It reveals that, in addition to typical age-graded change such as a decrease in fundamental frequency over time, some vocalic aspects of their original dialects (Hawai‘i English and Inland North English) shifted to become more in line with Western American English, while others did not. The disparity between the vowels that changed and those that did not for each speaker are discussed through the lenses of social salience, gender and race, and the audience design of YouTube vlogs.
Second Dialect Acquisition “in Real Time”: Two Longitudinal Case Studies from YouTube
andrew cheng is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Linguistics at Simon Fraser University and an incoming assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He studies sociophonetics, bilingualism, Asian American language, and child language development. Email: email@example.com.
Andrew Cheng; Second Dialect Acquisition “in Real Time”: Two Longitudinal Case Studies from YouTube. American Speech 1 May 2023; 98 (2): 194–224. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-9766922
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