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Exploiting random intercepts: Two case studies in sociophonetics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 March 2012

Katie Drager
Affiliation:
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Jennifer Hay
Affiliation:
New Zealand Institute of Language Brain and Behaviour, University of Canterbury

Abstract

An increasing number of sociolinguists are using mixed effects models, models which allow for the inclusion of both fixed and random predicting variables. In most analyses, random effect intercepts are treated as a by-product of the model; they are viewed simply as a way to fit a more accurate model. This paper presents additional uses for random effect intercepts within the context of two case studies. Specifically, this paper demonstrates how random intercepts can be exploited to assist studies of speaker style and identity and to normalize for vocal tract size within certain linguistic environments. We argue that, in addition to adopting mixed effect modeling more generally, sociolinguists should view random intercepts as a potential tool during analysis.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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