A sociophonetic study of Filipino English in Winnipeg, Canada

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Li, Lanlan
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The Filipino community in Winnipeg is unique, for that they are not only the largest minority group in the city, they also settled primarily in the northwest area of the city, forming a close-knit enclave. In addition, they are a highly visible group in Winnipeg and have strong familial and community ties. This dissertation explores the sociophonetic patterns among Filipinos in Winnipeg. To achieve this goal, I compare the linguistic behavior of Filipinos to the general population by examining three phonetic features: Canadian Raising, /æg/-raising and Voice Onset Time (VOT). Acoustic phonetic analyses and statistical analyses are carried out on the data that are drawn from 26 Filipino Winnipeggers (FWs) and 17 Traditional Winnipeggers (TWs). The major findings of the three linguistic variables are as follows. For Canadian Raising, first-generation FWs do not participate in Canadian Raising of /aɪ/ and /aʊ/. Second-generation FWs show the same extent of /aɪ/-raising, but less degree of /aʊ/-raising as compared to the local mainstream speakers. This pattern may correlate with the different regional distributions of the two diphthongs and indicate second-generation FWs are more oriented toward national standards or large urban centers. For /æg/-raising, the Filipino second-generation women show the same degree of raising as their local counterparts, while the Filipino second-generation men have less raising and pattern with the first generation. This gendered difference reflects the more diverse social networks among second-generation women than among second-generation men. For VOT, language transfer effects are only found in the first-generation FWs, and have not passed along to second-generation FWs, which aligns with the findings of Hoffman and Walker (2010). This study indicates that the linguistic variation among Filipinos is potentially influenced by their social roles and social connections in Winnipeg. The findings of this dissertation support an intersectional approach, taking into account of ethnicity, gender, and generation, while investigating ethnolinguistic variation. This dissertation is also the first to discuss Filipino Canadians in Winnipeg and their English production patterns, and provides more materials for the growing studies of sociolinguistic variation in Asian communities.
Sociophonetics, Filipino, Ethnicity, Canadian Raising, Voice Onset Time