Scholarly Works, English

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Research articles, presentations, and other scholarship


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  • When PALMs are in your THOUGHTs, you head South: Evidence for diffusion of the low-back vowel system from New York to New Orleans
    Dinkin, Aaron J.; Carmichael, Katie (American Dialect Society, 2023-10-18)
    In New Orleans, there is a white, working-class dialect of English, sometimes called “Yat”, that has several notable similarities with that of New York City. These similarities have been argued to be the result of 19th-century dialect contact between residents of the two cities. This paper examines the PALM vowel in New Orleans and argues that it too shows evidence of diffusion from New York around this time period. Words of the PALM lexical set that have been part of the English lexicon since before the 19th century, such as father and calm, are found to be merged with the THOUGHT phoneme in New Orleans, while more recent PALM words such as garage are merged with LOT. A handful of traditional LOT words, such as John and god, are also sporadically attested with the THOUGHT phoneme. Since traditional New York City English also possesses a PALM vowel backer than LOT, with words such as John and god variably included in it—a pattern that is not widely found in other dialects closely connected to New Orleans English—the findings are interpreted as further evidence for dialect diffusion from New York to New Orleans.
  • Remembering Reasons for Reform: A More Replicable and Reproducible Communication Literature Without the Rancor
    Ivory, James Dee (Cogitatio Press, 2024-03-12)
    Increasing awareness of the “replication crisis” has prompted discussion about replicability and reproducibility in social and behavioral science research, including in communication. As with other fields, communication has seen discussion about concerns with the interpretation of existing research. One response has been the piecemeal adoption of “open science” practices in communication to reduce selectivity in analysis, reporting, and publication of research. Calls for further adoption of such practices have, in turn, been met with criticisms and concerns about the negative consequences of their adoption. Amidst disparate perspectives regarding solutions to replicability and reproducibility issues in communication science, difficulties building consensus and caution about negative outcomes are understandable, but they also present the risk of a status quo bias that could stall the improvement of the replicability and reproducibility of communication research. The urgency of the replication crisis for communication and the cost of inaction are presented here along three exemplifying dimensions perhaps of particular importance in communication research: (a) responsibility to the public, (b) stewardship of resources, and (c) membership in a community of scholars. While debate over solutions will continue, we would do well to keep in mind that problems with replicability and reproducibility in communication research are indeed a crisis needing immediate attention.
  • 'New' Media: Decolonial Opportunities or Digital Colonialism?
    Veracini, Lorenzo; Weaver-Hightower, Rebecca (MDPI, 2023-12-21)
    Can one colonise or liberate cyberspace, space that is not actually space [...]
  • A Techné for Citizens: Service-Learning, Conversation, and Community
    Dubinsky, James M. (Parlor Press, 2010-06-14)
  • The Status of Service in Learning
    Dubinsky, James M. (Utah State University Press, 2004-06-16)
  • Mobile Film Festival Africa and Postcolonial Activism
    Weaver-Hightower, Rebecca (MDPI, 2023-11-28)
    This paper enters into a debate of how new and potentially more accessible technologies might affect freedom of expression for heretofore disenfranchised peoples and postcolonial social and political development. This essay examines short films produced on camera phones by amateur African filmmakers for one of the many existent mobile phone film festivals: Mobile Film Festival Africa held in 2021. Mobile Film Festival, an annual and international festival of short-length movies, was founded in 2005 based on the principle “1 Mobile, 1 Minute, 1 Film”. Because of the highly destructive mining in Africa required to obtain the minerals necessary for mobile phone production, because of the Western narratives of progress mobile phone sales build upon, and because of the fact that mobile phones are instruments of capitalism that largely feed big Western countries, mobile phones are themselves tools of neocolonialism and digital colonialism. Thus, a film festival that markets itself as a means of social progress but that relies upon mobile phones in Africa provides an interesting and quite complicated case study. Two of the award-winning films from this festival recognize in different ways the complicated relationship between mobile phones and postcolonial activism.
  • Locating place in variationist sociolinguistics: Making the case for ethnographically informed multidimensional place orientation metrics
    Carmichael, Katie (Cambridge University Press, 2023-10)
    Variationist research has much to gain from deepening engagement with theories about place, defined as space imbued with social meaning. One challenge that variationists face is how to adapt the complex and multifaceted aspects of place orientation into a single measure that can be included in models of sociolinguistic variation. In this paper, I advocate for an ethnographic approach to place, providing an example from Greater New Orleans, where post-Katrina displacement has highlighted individual connections to place. Using an ethnographically informed multidimensional place orientation metric (MPOM), I examine two local linguistic features among speakers from the suburban town of Chalmette, Louisiana according to place orientation. Via statistical modeling and case study of individual speakers, I demonstrate the value of MPOMs in quantitative analysis of sociolinguistic variation, arguing for further theorization of place orientation in our research and providing a model for variationist sociolinguists interested in engaging more with place theory.
  • Regional and individual variation in acoustic targets of /ai/ and /au/ in American English
    Shport, Irina; Bissell, Marie; Berkson, Kelly; Carmichael, Katie (2023-09-01)
    English diphthongs are represented as bisegmental (e.g., /aɪ/) and assumed to have two acoustic targets (onset, offset). These phones are standardly represented with variable symbology (e.g., /ai/, /aj/), and previous work indeed reports variability in diphthong offsets. To investigate whether variation can be explained by dialectal and/or individual differences, we examined diphthongs (/aɪ, aʊ/) produced by 41 speakers of American English from Ohio (Midland, Northern regions) and Louisiana (Southern region). Comparison of offset spectral estimates to nearby monophthongs indicate that the /aɪ/ offset was relatively consistently acoustically close to [ɪ], but the /aʊ/ offset was highly variable for both groups. While some of these findings, such as the degree of dynamic spectral change in diphthongs, can be explained by dialectal differences, it is also possible that the diphthongs have different underlying structure (e.g., more clearly biphasic onset-offset for /aɪ/ than for /aʊ/).
  • Service-Learning as a Path to Virtue: The Ideal Orator in Professional Communication
    Dubinsky, James M. (Michigan Publishing, 2002-04-13)
    This article examines service-learning as a means to bridge the gap between practical courses in the curriculum such as professional communication, which are linked to a market-economy, and the ideal of public service. By outlining ways in which service-learning has been used in the professional communication field, and problems and concerns with its use, the author explores the charge of “vocationalism.” The historical connection between rhetoric and professional communication is developed through a detailed case study analysis covering the author’s partnership with a non-profit organization over several semesters. The author suggests that when used with care and reflection, service-learning can be a path toward virtue for students, helping them to inculcate a public service ideal.
  • Role of Translation in Disaster Response
    Baniya, Sweta; Potts, Liza (2024-01-29)
    In this article, we highlight and discuss in detail the role of translation transnational during and in response to a crisis. Translation practices and readiness are critical for multilingual and transnational communities to survive during and respond to disasters (Marlowe, 2020). The translation of information is crucial to the survival of the communities that are marginalized within their own countries due to their linguistic diversity. And yet, this is not an area often studied or considered, even though we understand its importance (O’Brien, 2019; Gonzales, 2018; Agboka, 2013). Hence, we present an analysis of the work of “knowledge workers” (Baniya & Potts, 2021) during the current Russia-Ukraine war to showcase how translation work happens at an intersection of digital platforms, multilingualism, and social justice.
  • Bringing indexical orders to non-arbitrary meaning: The case of pitch and politeness in English and Korean
    Holliday, Jeff; Walker, Abby; Jung, Mihyun; Cho, Esther (Open Library of Humanities, 2023)
    In this study, we investigated whether the relationship between pitch and politeness is mediated through iconic relationships between pitch and other talker attributes, and whether these relationships can differ across languages. US and South Korean listeners completed a speaker perception task in which they heard utterances and rated the speaker on a number of attributes, including politeness. The pitch of each utterance was unmanipulated, raised, or lowered. The results confirm previous work suggesting that in Korean, lower pitch is associated with politeness, which contrasts with both the English results we find, and claims of a universal association between higher pitch and politeness (i.e., Ohala’s Frequency Code). At the same time, the impact of pitch on attributes like perceived height, strength, and emotion are similar across listener groups: Speakers in higher pitched guises are heard as shorter, weaker, and more emotional. Like others, we argue that pitch can be associated, non-arbitrarily, with a range of meanings, but additionally appeal to orders of indexicality (Silverstein, 2003) to account for the similarities between the groups, as well as the differences. Our results are of significance for researchers looking at non-arbitrary meaning of acoustic cues as well as the acoustics of politeness, especially in interaction with polite registers in Korean.
  • Conduit
    Queen, Khadijah (Akashic Books, 2008)
    Chris Abani's Black Goat series presents the debut poetry collection from one of America's most promising young writers.
  • Safety Plan
    Queen, Khadijah (2023)
  • Using Scoping Reviews to Identify Models for Participatory Design of Pandemic Communication Research
    Gerdes, Julie; Ojedele-Adejumo, Temitope; Buccilli, Marissa (ACM, 2023-10-26)
    We report on an interdisciplinary scoping review project that sought to broadly review relevant methodological approaches to community engagement in pandemic prevention research. We reviewed abstracts for 1,000 published articles and 211 full-text articles that fell under search terms related to community engagement in infectious disease outbreak communication. We identified 71 papers from across a wide range of disciplines that embraced the spirit of participatory research and that can serve as models in ongoing pandemic science collaborations. While equity-driven participatory design of communication has not taken hold in literature about communication in the face of public health emergencies of international concern, there are positive signs of increasing advocacy for, and—to a lesser degree—uptake of non-extractive research practices in this context.
  • Show Your Work! Three Qualitative Methodologies to Revise and Reimagine Quantitative Work as Communication Design
    Lindgren, Chris A.; Banville, Morgan; Kalodner-Martin, Elena (ACM, 2023-10-26)
    Panelists outline three qualitative methodologies: stasis networks, interlocking surveillance, and rhetorical platform analysis. Each methodology guides researchers and practitioners to identify and resolve different types of issues with the communication design of quantitative work, such as conflicts that emerge during the interpretive labor or how to assess and act against harmful policies that impact the data digital platforms collect and use.
  • Mapping Methodologies When the Platform is on Fire
    Jones, Dave; Trice, Michael; Potts, Liza; Baniya, Sweta (ACM, 2023-10-26)
    This extended abstract focuses on the methodologies used to research, examine, and understand content moderation policies on social media platforms during times of crisis.
  • Decolonizing community-engaged research: Designing CER with cultural humility as a foundational value
    Itchuaqiyaq, Cana; Lindgren, Chris A.; Kramer, Corina (ACM, 2023-10-02)
    In this article, we uptake the call for equipping researchers in practicing socially just CER in Indigenous communities through developing a framework for cultural humility in CER. Sparked by our research team’s experience considering the potential of CER to transform and contribute to the needs of both tribal and academic communities, we present cultural humility as a personal precondition for socially just, decolonial CER practice. We use the Inuit cultural practice of nalukataq as a key metaphor to present our framework for cultural humility: listening to the caller, setting your feet, pulling equally, staying in sync.
  • Exploring the Role of Phonological Environment in Evaluating Social Meaning: The Case of /s/ Aspiration in Puerto Rican Spanish
    García, Christina; Walker, Abby; Beaton, Mary (MDPI, 2023-08-04)
    Research in sociophonetic perception has suggested that linguistic factors influence the social meaning of a particular variant, such that the strength of social meaning appears to be mediated by factors like grammatical category or phonological environment. Here, we further investigate the impact of linguistic factors on the perception of sociolinguistic variables by examining evaluations of /s/ aspiration in the speech of four male Puerto Rican Spanish speakers. We look at how evaluations of this variable pattern based on the phonological context (preconsonantal vs. prevocalic), the proportion of a given variant ([s] or [h]) in the stimuli, and the listener residence (Puerto Rico vs. mainland US). Our results replicate earlier work showing that /s/ realization contributes to status and masculinity ratings. However, we do not find evidence of an effect of incremental changes in the proportions of [s]:[h] variants in an utterance or an effect of listener residence. Critically, we do find that phonological context influences the evaluations of listeners: [s] is rated as less masculine than [h] in preconsonantal environments, but in prevocalic environments, there is no effect of variant. Given that [s] is rarely found in preconsonantal contexts in Puerto Rican Spanish, and even less so in male speech, this result is consistent with studies arguing that social meaning is stronger in marked contexts. Expected patterns for gender, phonological context, and dialect interact to make an [s] realization of preconsonantal /s/ particularly rare in male speech of this variety, which opens the door for more robust socioindexical meaning.