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Condi Rice - American Dialect Society

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Information about Condi Rice - American Dialect Society

Published on November 4, 2007

Author: dialect

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Abstract segment: This paper examines the linguistic behavior of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a speaking engagement in Northern California. The recordings consist of a speech and Q&A period totaling one hour. We employ a new methodology well-suited to investigating large numbers of phonetic features. Using Transcriber, Praat, and speech recognition technology, we have developed a fully-annotated (utterances, words, and sounds) and growing corpus from which phonetic features can be extracted automatically
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Multiple Features, Multiple Identities: A Sociophonetic Profile of Condoleezza Rice Robert J. Podesva Georgetown University Jason Brenier University of Colorado, Boulder Lauren Hall-Lew, Stacy Lewis, Patrick Callier, Rebecca Starr Stanford University ADS 2007 Anaheim We thank the participants of the Half Moon Bay Style Retreat for providing inspiration on the theoretical front, Natalie Schilling-Estes and the participants of her Sociolinguistics Style Seminar for feedback on our approach, and Jermay Jamsu for assistance with coding.

Theoretical Background Research on the linguistic construction of identity typically focuses on single identity categories, obscuring connections between demographic affiliations, ideologies, and practices (Eckert and McConnell-Ginet 1992, Bucholtz et al. 1999).

Research on the linguistic construction of identity typically focuses on single identity categories, obscuring connections between demographic affiliations, ideologies, and practices (Eckert and McConnell-Ginet 1992, Bucholtz et al. 1999).

Our Approach Characterize a speaker’s constellation of phonetic features: a sociophonetic profile. Examine multiple features to investigate how a speaker’s multifaceted identity is managed through language, allowing variation patterns to bring the most prominent aspects of identity to the surface.

Characterize a speaker’s constellation of phonetic features: a sociophonetic profile.

Examine multiple features to investigate how a speaker’s multifaceted identity is managed through language, allowing variation patterns to bring the most prominent aspects of identity to the surface.

Speaker: Condoleezza Rice prominent political figure woman African American Southern Western

Phonetic/Phonological Features Examine the extent to which Rice uses these features. Compare use of these features across two styles, speech vs. Q&A, under the assumption that more frequent and phonetically stronger vernacular variants appear in the relatively informal Q&A. (ay) monophthong. (ptk) release (ah)-(oh) merger (ih)-(eh) merger bec(au)se fronting of (uw) and (ow) (er) weakening (er) weakening (æ) backing (æ) split (d) glottalization (d) glottalization Hyperstandard Western Southern AA(V)E

Examine the extent to which Rice uses these features.

Compare use of these features across two styles, speech vs. Q&A, under the assumption that more frequent and phonetically stronger vernacular variants appear in the relatively informal Q&A.

Methods Approximately 1 hour speaking engagement addressing Commonwealth Club of California Hand transcription by authors using Transcriber Timestamps for utterance boundaries obtained, used to segment long audio file into series of short, utterance-length files

Approximately 1 hour speaking engagement addressing Commonwealth Club of California

Hand transcription by authors using Transcriber

Timestamps for utterance boundaries obtained, used to segment long audio file into series of short, utterance-length files

Methods Forced alignment of word and phone boundaries using Sonic (Pellom et al. 2001) Large vocabulary continuous speech recognition system Acoustic and language models trained on corpus of continuous speech (Switchboard) diverse in regional dialects “ and we can explain why this is true” and AE1 N D and AH1 N we W IY1 can K AE1 N can K AH1 N explain IH0 K S P L EY1 N explain EH0 K S P L EY1 N ...

Forced alignment of word and phone boundaries using Sonic (Pellom et al. 2001)

Large vocabulary continuous speech recognition system

Acoustic and language models trained on corpus of continuous speech (Switchboard) diverse in regional dialects

Methods Word, phone, and utterance alignments used to make acoustic measurements in Praat by script Subset of phonetic measurements conducted by hand to calculate error rate

Word, phone, and utterance alignments used to make acoustic measurements in Praat by script

Subset of phonetic measurements conducted by hand to calculate error rate

Corpus Statistics Total phones: 29,100 Total words: 7,659 Total duration of Rice’s speech: 38.42 mins Expanding corpus, analysis of additional speaking situations currently underway

Total phones: 29,100

Total words: 7,659

Total duration of Rice’s speech: 38.42 mins

Expanding corpus, analysis of additional speaking situations currently underway

African American English Features Glottalization of (-d) Environment: postvocalic, word-final /d/ Previous Work: Fasold 1981; Bailey and Thomas 1998; Kohl and Anderson 2000 Weakening of (er) Environment: r-colored schwa in unstressed position Previous Work: Pollock and Berni 1997; Thomas 2001; Labov, Ash, and Boberg 2006

Glottalization of (-d)

Environment: postvocalic, word-final /d/

Previous Work: Fasold 1981; Bailey and Thomas 1998; Kohl and Anderson 2000

Weakening of (er)

Environment: r-colored schwa in unstressed position

Previous Work: Pollock and Berni 1997; Thomas 2001; Labov, Ash, and Boberg 2006

(-d) Glottalization the Unite d Nations totally misguide d Iraqis vote d despite the threats of the terrorists perverte d that the United States is permanently committe d ethnic cleansing erupte d not to become diverte d by

(-d) Glottalization VARBRUL analysis indicates glottal variant more common (p=0.013) in Q&A (factor weight = 0.596) than speech (factor weight = 0.314). In favored environments, Rice uses glottalized variant 35% of time in Q&A versus 20.5% in speech. Preceding vowel shorter (p=0.048) in Q&A (50 ms) than speech (60 ms), due to compensatory shortening of vowel in pre-voiceless environment.

VARBRUL analysis indicates glottal variant more common (p=0.013) in Q&A (factor weight = 0.596) than speech (factor weight = 0.314).

In favored environments, Rice uses glottalized variant 35% of time in Q&A versus 20.5% in speech.

Preceding vowel shorter (p=0.048) in Q&A (50 ms) than speech (60 ms), due to compensatory shortening of vowel in pre-voiceless environment.

(er) Weakening Unstressed (er) realized phonetically more weakly in the Q&A. Higher minimum F3 (1,838 Hz vs. 1,734 Hz, p=0.001) in Q&A than speech. Shorter duration (89 ms vs. 104 ms, p=0.016) in Q&A than speech.

Unstressed (er) realized phonetically more weakly in the Q&A.

Higher minimum F3 (1,838 Hz vs. 1,734 Hz, p=0.001) in Q&A than speech.

Shorter duration (89 ms vs. 104 ms, p=0.016) in Q&A than speech.

Summary of AAE Features While Rice avoids the use of all stereotypical vernacular features of AAE, she makes use of glottalized (d) and (er) weakening, both features of a more prestigious variety, Black Standard English. BUT, these features are also used in Southern varieties of American English.

While Rice avoids the use of all stereotypical vernacular features of AAE, she makes use of glottalized (d) and (er) weakening, both features of a more prestigious variety, Black Standard English.

BUT, these features are also used in Southern varieties of American English.

Southern Features (-d) Glottalization (er) Weakening (ih)/(eh) Merger Environment: before nasals in stressed syllables Previous Work: Brown 1991, Bigham 2004 (ay) Monophthongization Environment: stressed syllables Previous Work: Hay et al. 1999, Anderson 2003

(-d) Glottalization

(er) Weakening

(ih)/(eh) Merger

Environment: before nasals in stressed syllables

Previous Work: Brown 1991, Bigham 2004

(ay) Monophthongization

Environment: stressed syllables

Previous Work: Hay et al. 1999, Anderson 2003

No (ih)/(eh) Merger Speech Q&A

No (ay) Monophthongization Robust pattern of diphthongization. Speech Q&A

Robust pattern of diphthongization.

Western Features Fronting of (uw) and (ow) (ah)/(oh) Merger (æ) Split Environment: stressed syllables Previous Work: Moonwomon 1992, Eckert and Staum 2003

Fronting of (uw) and (ow)

(ah)/(oh) Merger

(æ) Split

Environment: stressed syllables

Previous Work: Moonwomon 1992, Eckert and Staum 2003

No Fronting of (uw) and (ow) Speech Q&A o u g oe s m o ve N. Californian Adolescents (http://www.stanford.edu/~eckert) g oe s m o ve Condoleezza Rice

No (ah)/(oh) Merger Speech Q&A

(æ) Split Speech Q&A Anchor Can Diplomatic Challenge Thank Can Assets Challenge Pre-Nasal Raising Pre-Oral Backing

Summary of Regional Features Although Rice has spent the majority of her life in Alabama, Colorado, and California, she avoids the use of stereotypical features of those regions. Her speech does exhibit one Western feature, the raising/fronting of (æ) pre-nasally and backing of (æ) pre-orally (Moonwomon 1992, Eckert and Staum 2003). BUT, the backing of (æ) could alternatively be interpreted as hyperstandard.

Although Rice has spent the majority of her life in Alabama, Colorado, and California, she avoids the use of stereotypical features of those regions.

Her speech does exhibit one Western feature, the raising/fronting of (æ) pre-nasally and backing of (æ) pre-orally (Moonwomon 1992, Eckert and Staum 2003).

BUT, the backing of (æ) could alternatively be interpreted as hyperstandard.

Hyperstandard Features (æ) Backing Environment: stressed syllables Previous Work: Hughes and Trudgill 1979; Bucholtz 2001 bec(au)se Environment: stressed vowel in the word because Previous Work: Kökeritz 1964, Bucholtz 1996 (ptk) Release Environment: word-finally and pre-pausally Previous Work: Naughton 1979; Byrd 1992; Bucholtz 1995; Benor 2001; Podesva et al. 2002

(æ) Backing

Environment: stressed syllables

Previous Work: Hughes and Trudgill 1979; Bucholtz 2001

bec(au)se

Environment: stressed vowel in the word because

Previous Work: Kökeritz 1964, Bucholtz 1996

(ptk) Release

Environment: word-finally and pre-pausally

Previous Work: Naughton 1979; Byrd 1992; Bucholtz 1995; Benor 2001; Podesva et al. 2002

(æ) Backing as Hyperstandard The backing of (æ) indexes a refined style, due to its ideological associations with British varieties of English (Hughes and Trudgill 1979; Bucholtz 2001). This feature occurs alongside “British” stress patterns in words like finance , allies , and program .

The backing of (æ) indexes a refined style, due to its ideological associations with British varieties of English (Hughes and Trudgill 1979; Bucholtz 2001).

This feature occurs alongside “British” stress patterns in words like finance , allies , and program .

“British” Stress Patterns ...are good allies of ours. Gloria was very involved in that program . And many of them were kind of fronts for terrorist financing . And we’ve worked very hard with the Saudis to shut down some of that uh terrorist financing , so... two utterances later

...are good allies of ours.

Gloria was very involved in that program .

And many of them were kind of fronts for terrorist financing .

And we’ve worked very hard with the Saudis to shut down some of that uh terrorist financing , so...

bec(au)se Variable production, including wedge and (oh). (oh) in because backer (p=0.001) and longer (p=0.016) in than (oh) elsewhere. Suggests a relatively stronger influence of orthography compared to Standard American English usage. bec au se bec au se

Variable production, including wedge and (oh).

(oh) in because backer (p=0.001) and longer (p=0.016) in than (oh) elsewhere.

Suggests a relatively stronger influence of orthography compared to Standard American English usage.

(ptk) Release Rice demonstrates heightened articulatory precision with the rate and strength of utterance-final (ptk) releases. 71.7% stops released, higher than comparable rates for American English. Bursts 28 ms longer (p=0.036) in speech after speech rate normalization. Ah, to figh t the uh violen t uh jiha d . ...the freedom deficit in the Middle East and in the broader Middle Eas t .

Rice demonstrates heightened articulatory precision with the rate and strength of utterance-final (ptk) releases.

71.7% stops released, higher than comparable rates for American English.

Bursts 28 ms longer (p=0.036) in speech after speech rate normalization.

Conclusions Ideological (Hyperstandard, BSE) factors figure more prominently in Rice’s speech than regional factors. Rice’s tendency to use two features of Black Standard English (BSE) and several hyperstandard features enables her to maintain an affiliation with a positively valued African American identity while cultivating a hyperstandard public persona.

Ideological (Hyperstandard, BSE) factors figure more prominently in Rice’s speech than regional factors.

Rice’s tendency to use two features of Black Standard English (BSE) and several hyperstandard features enables her to maintain an affiliation with a positively valued African American identity while cultivating a hyperstandard public persona.

Conclusions Meanings are ambiguous; neither (er) weakening nor (-d) glot. can be attributed to BSE or Southern speech alone (which may be politically desirable for Rice). Investigations of identity should examine multiple linguistic features, a practice facilitated by the methodology introduced here.

Meanings are ambiguous; neither (er) weakening nor (-d) glot. can be attributed to BSE or Southern speech alone (which may be politically desirable for Rice).

Investigations of identity should examine multiple linguistic features, a practice facilitated by the methodology introduced here.

Future Directions Diachronic Approach: Investigation of whether Rice’s hyperstandard features have enabled her to construct an increasingly public persona. Cross-Situational Approach: Exploration of how Rice’s constellation of phonetic features shifts as she moves into less formal situations. Perception Approach: Examination of how the prominent features of her speech from a production standpoint are interpreted socially. Discourse Approach: Analysis of the ways in which tokens are situated in particular moments of the discourse.

Diachronic Approach: Investigation of whether Rice’s hyperstandard features have enabled her to construct an increasingly public persona.

Cross-Situational Approach: Exploration of how Rice’s constellation of phonetic features shifts as she moves into less formal situations.

Perception Approach: Examination of how the prominent features of her speech from a production standpoint are interpreted socially.

Discourse Approach: Analysis of the ways in which tokens are situated in particular moments of the discourse.

Error Rates Differences between automatic and manual measurements small (not significant) in general. For ( æ)L F2, the difference between automatic and manual measurements was significant because the manual measurements revealed a greater difference between the speech and the Q&A. 5 ms (n.s., p=0.557) duration (ptk) 12.5 Hz (n.s., p=0.36) F2 bec(au)se 5 ms (n.s., p=.719) duration bec(au)se 195 Hz (sig., p=0.0004) F2 (æ)L 17 Hz (n.s., p=0.088) F2 (æ)K 12 ms (sig., p=0.005) duration (er) 1.45 Hz (n.s., p=0.91) F3 (er) 4 ms (n.s., p=0.307) vowel duration (-d) Auto vs. Manual Difference Acoustic Measure Feature

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