14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)
San Francisco, CA, USA
It is a well known fact that dialects differ in prosodic features as
well as segmental features. Though few studies have focused on
prosody, existing research provides evidence of distinct
differences in the intonation pattern between African-American
English (AAE) and Mainstream American English (MAE). This
study examines how speakers use such prosodic cues to
differentiate AAE from MAE. It was hypothesized that dialect
identification is easiest in cases where the intonation pattern of an
utterance is dialect-specific and does not vary across speakers
within a dialect group. It was also hypothesized that the degree
of exposure to AAE is positively correlated with the accuracy rate
for identifying AAE.
Results show that neither sex nor race alone had an effect on accuracy in dialect identification, but exposure to AAE had a measurable effect on performance in terms of both accuracy and confidence in identification.
Bibliographic reference. Foreman, Christina G. (1999): "Dialect identification from prosodic cues", In ICPhS-14, 1237-1240.