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Modeling Language Change in the St. Louis Corridor

  • Jordan Kodner (a1)

Abstract

The St. Louis Corridor extending from Chicago, Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri has been described as a “breach” through the Midlands dialect region because of the presence of Inland North features there. Most notably, features associated with the Northern Cities Shift suddenly appeared in Corridor cities in the mid-twentieth century, but they have since largely retreated. Friedman's (2014) population study has uncovered complex relationships between the Corridor's geography and this pattern of advance and retreat, and this work elaborates on that investigation through computational simulations of the Corridor's population structure. Implementing a new network-analytic population model (Kodner & Cerezo Falco, 2018), I find support for Friedman's original hypothesis that migration into cities along Route 66 imported Inland North features into the Corridor first before it spread outward to communities farther away from the route and uncover questions about the Corridor's population that merit further study.

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I am grateful to Christopher M. Cerezo Falco, Meredith Tamminga, and Charles Yang for the suggestions and support they provided me while I was preparing this work, and to Lauren Friedman for sharing her original data. I also thank the audiences at FWAV 4 (2017) in York, UK, DiGS 19 (2017) in Stellenbosch, South Africa, NWAV 46 (2017) in Madison, Wisconsin, and ACL (2018) in Melbourne, Australia for their comments on various components of this project. This research was funded in part by an NDSEG fellowship awarded by the U.S. Army Research Office.

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Modeling Language Change in the St. Louis Corridor

  • Jordan Kodner (a1)

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