5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

Regional Variation in the Vowels of Female Adolescents from Sydney

Felicity Cox, Sallyanne Palethorpe

Speech Hearing and Language Research Centre, Macquarie University, Australia

This paper examines the assumption that Australian English vowel variation within urban centres is restricted to Broadness variation and is a consequence of socioeconomic rather than regional factors. The acoustic structure of vowel realisations for subjects across three different regions in Sydney is compared to shed some light on the theory of regional uniformity. 95 adolescent female speakers of General Australian English produced multiple repetitions of 18 different vowels in the h-d context. The vowel formants for each group were compared using ANOVA with post-hoc Bonferroni. Results revealed several significant area effects not necessarily associated with broadness variation. As area often subsumes a range of socioeconomic factors, it was necessary to also investigate whether some other socioeconomic indicator would account for the results. An examination of parental occupation, education and area confirm area as the most important of these factors in influencing vowel realisation for this group of speakers.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Cox, Felicity / Palethorpe, Sallyanne (1998): "Regional variation in the vowels of female adolescents from sydney", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0417.