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English in San Francisco Chinatown – Indexing identity with speech rhythm?


Zipp, Lena; Staicov, Adina (2016). English in San Francisco Chinatown – Indexing identity with speech rhythm? In: Seoane, Elena; Suárez Gómez, Cristina. World Englishes: New theoretical and methodological considerations. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing, 205-228.

Abstract

This study reports on the methodological challenges of determining and quantifying ethnic identity in questionnaire and interview data from second-generation members of the San Francisco Chinatown community, and linking these identity scores to the use of durational characteristics that we argue are part of the ethnolinguistic repertoires of our participants. We analyse durational features from free speech in interactions with an in-group and an out-group interlocutor for an exemplary sample of four speakers. By thus combining qualitative data on ethnic identity orientation with quantitative sociophonetic results, we show that rhythmic variability in free speech is both possible and traceable, and suggest that speech rhythm can be used as a flexible feature to index ethnic identity.

Abstract

This study reports on the methodological challenges of determining and quantifying ethnic identity in questionnaire and interview data from second-generation members of the San Francisco Chinatown community, and linking these identity scores to the use of durational characteristics that we argue are part of the ethnolinguistic repertoires of our participants. We analyse durational features from free speech in interactions with an in-group and an out-group interlocutor for an exemplary sample of four speakers. By thus combining qualitative data on ethnic identity orientation with quantitative sociophonetic results, we show that rhythmic variability in free speech is both possible and traceable, and suggest that speech rhythm can be used as a flexible feature to index ethnic identity.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:410 Linguistics
820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:16 Mar 2017 08:45
Last Modified:12 Nov 2020 08:20
Publisher:John Benjamins Publishing
Series Name:Varieties of English Around the World
ISSN:0172-7362
ISBN:9789027267061
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1075/veaw.g57

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