Modeling Language Change in the St. Louis Corridor
Jordan Kodner
October 2019

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-20th century, but they have since largely retreated. A recent 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, 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.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004819
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: accepted to Language Variation and Change
keywords: computational modeling, variation, northern cities shift, phonology
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