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Attribute networking: A technique for modeling social perceptions

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An original, network‐based technique is presented for modeling community members’ conceptions of local social space. Social categories derived from the model are used to investigate the social meaning of linguistic variation. The technique is first explained and then demonstrated using linguistic and ethnographic data from Worthington, Ohio, a Columbus suburb. Two linguistic variables are analyzed: (1)/l/ vocalization; and (2) the phonetic realization of the before vowel‐initial words. The results are discussed in the context of Columbus‐area urban sprawl and its perceived threat to Worthington's distinctiveness.

Keywords: /l/ vocalization; Columbus; Networks; Ohio; social categories; social perceptions

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The Ohio State University

Publication date: 2005-05-01

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