Second International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP'92)

Banff, Alberta, Canada
October 13-16, 1992

The Categorization of the Dialects and Speech Styles of North American English

Arthur J. Bronstein

Department of Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

North American English pronunciation usage has not developed a particular model for either of the two countries, a situation quite differently demonstrated by the four current pronouncing dictionaries of British English and the sole pronouncing dictionary of American English. American English standard pronunciations do not stem from a tradition associated with a language academy nor with a norm associated with the usages of a social elite or of those from a particular region of the country. Current American and Canadian English 'standard' forms belong to numerous regions as well as to many stylistic and social categories. This paper reports on an ongoing project that is gathering and categorizing such forms for a large database, ultimately to be used for an updated dictionary of American and Canadian English pronunciation. Pronunciations, to be retrievable by category, will, where appropriate, carry particular regional designations (as when certain regionally identifiable vocalic forms in words like barn, furrow, third, four, dance, bath, cot, home, house, roof, etc. appear in different parts of the continent). Additionally, we plan to include and label pronunciations in special phonetic contexts (e.g. "going to", "extra allowance", "bitter"), stylistic entries that carry chronological labels (e.g. "Maria", "humble"). SDelline, casual, formal, fast-speech pronunciations, and those closely, if not exclusively, associated with certain social groups.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Bronstein, Arthur J. (1992): "The categorization of the dialects and speech styles of north american English", In ICSLP-1992, 687-690.