14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999


The Sociocultural Value of F0 Variation in British and American English

T. I. Shevchenko

Moscow State Linguistic University, Russia

The paper reports on a number of acoustic experiments with focus on F0-parameters. The aim of the research is to determine which of the sociocultural connotations established for F0-code in British English are valid for the American context. It is an attempt to differentiate nationally specific regional and sociocultural constraints on F0-variation. The F0-parameters are: F0-max, F0-mean, F0-range, F0-variability and F0-combinability with intensity and duration. The social correlates are: regional background, social status (occupation), age, gender. The results of the comparative analysis suggest that North vs. South regional distinctions as well as higher vs. lower social status, together with age characteristics, follow the same trend in both varieties of English while gender (sex)-differentiating features, apart from the obvious F0-means, tend to be nationally culture-distinctive. The phonetic data are linguistically and socioculturally evaluated.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Shevchenko, T. I. (1999): "The sociocultural value of F0 variation in British and American English", In ICPhS-14, 1609-1612.