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Persistence in phonological and morphological variation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2016

Meredith Tamminga*
University of Pennsylvania


Persistence, the tendency to repeat a recently used variant in speech, has been observed for a range of sociolinguistic variables. This paper uses quantitative data from ING and TD in Philadelphia English to show that persistence reflects morphological structure and can therefore be a useful tool for defining variables at the phonology–morphology interface. For both ING and TD, persistence arises only when prime and target belong to the same morphological category, with additional interactions between morphological category and lexical repetition. This pattern of results suggests that both the linguistic variables and cognitive processes at play are multifactorial.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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