With an approval from the Georgia Tech IRB, we are in the process of building and transcribing a corpus of recorded audio interviews with Georgia Tech students. (So far, we have recorded and transcribed 25 interviews, but we aim for over 100 to get enough data for each of the different demographic and political affiliations that interest us.) We use phonetic software to measure the position of the tongue in the mouth when producing vowels to quantify the idea of a “southern accent” to explore the hypothesis that more-conservative young Georgians may use more-“southern” accents. We are also conducting perception studies, gathering data on how “southern” people sound, to explore whether the perceived “southernness” of their accent correlates with phonetic measurements and/or with perceptions of their race/ethnicity and/or how “conservative” or “liberal” they sound. Broadly, this project explores the role of (political) ideology in accents and language change. Students build skills in interviewing, data management, qualitative and quantitative analysis, web surveys/experiments, phonetic measurements, statistics, and the presentation of academic results to varied audiences.
Issues Involved or Addressed
Language, politics, society, linguistics, psychology, demographics, speech
Methods and Technologies
Academic Majors of Interest
Preferred Interests and Preparation
Language / Society / Politics
Experience with or willingness to learn qualitative and quantitative data analysis skills.
Completion of LING 2100 (Intro to Linguistics) not a strict requirement.
Meeting Schedule & Location
- Modern Languages