In this paper, I investigate the durational characteristics of vowels produced by Central Minnesota speakers of English. The vowel [o] receives the lion’s share of attention because it is stereotypically indexed with the Minnesotan way of speaking. Twenty-three female and 11 male talkers produced the 11 phonemic monophthong vowels of English contained in the words . Eleven male talkers (64%) elongate their [o]s, while 10 female talkers (44%) do the same. Overall, the lengthening of [o] marks the speaker as having a stereotypical Minnesota accent, as portrayed in the movie Fargo and the sitcom Coach. The aggregated data suggests that female speakers are making a concerted effort to reduce the duration of their [o]s, but their male counterparts are less inclined to do so. The female linguistic behavior is probably due to the fact that the elongated [o] is perceived as less prestigious. This finding is consistent with sociolinguistic observations from numerous languages indicating that female talkers gravitate toward speech forms that they perceive as more prestigious.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
"The Duration of [o] in Central Minnesota English: An Acoustic Phonetic Investigation,"
Linguistic Portfolios: Vol. 6
, Article 3.
Available at: http://repository.stcloudstate.edu/stcloud_ling/vol6/iss1/3