Is phonetic target uniformity phonologically, or sociolinguistically grounded?

Josef Fruehwald

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this paper, I investigate to what degree phoneticuniformity in diachronic vowels shifts can be accounted for in terms of a shared phonetic implementation rule of phonological features [6, 10], versus a shared social evaluation of the phonetic realizations[19]. I take a particular focus on the parallel fronting and subsequent retraction of the GOOSE, GOAT andMOUTH vowels, as well as the raising of the preconsonantal FACE and pre-voiceless PRICE vowels in Philadelphia, drawing data from the Philadelphia Neighborhood Corpus [15]. Using generalized additive models [21] I fit models for these vowels accounting for gender, date of birth, educational attainment, and vowel duration using tensor product smooths. Looking at the correlation of the by speaker random intercepts, back vowel fronting appears to be highly correlated, thus likely phonologically grounded, while FACE and PRICE raising is not, thus likely socially grounded.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, Australia 2019
EditorsSasha Calhoun, Paola Escudero, Marija Tabain, Paul Warren
Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
PublisherAustralasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.
ISBN (Print)9780646800691
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 5 Aug 20199 Aug 2019


Conference19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
Abbreviated titleICPhS 2019
Internet address


  • sound change
  • phonology
  • phonetics
  • parallel shifts


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