Vowel raising and social networks in Michoacán

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I present an acoustic analysis of variable vowel raising in rural Mexican Spanish. This process involves the mid vowels, /e/ and /o/, in unstressed post-tonic positions and their variable realizations as [e, i] or [o, u], respectively. I perform a sociophonetic analysis using the formant values of the relevant vowels and then examine the influence of social networks on this phenomenon. This study represents the first systematic description of vowel raising in the region. Additionally, I use social factors, such as time spent in and out of the community, to create social networks that capture subtle social differences. The results show more /e/ than /o/ raising and less raising overall for participants who have more interactions outside of Michoacán.


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