Designed By:  

Zia Khoshsirat

ziaoddin AT ucla DOT edu

Call

310-825-3274

Contact

n.mendozadenton AT gmail DOT com

Address

Department of Anthropology                   

341 Haines Hall                        
Box 951553

University of California - Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1553

LOS ANGELES SPEAKS

About the project

Very little is known about linguistic variation and identity in LA and Southern California. A significant body of research since the 1960s has focused on linguistic variation and change within and between cities on the east coast of the United States, focusing especially on phonetic variation. More recent research out of Stanford has begun to examine linguistic variation in rural counties of Northern California. Our project addresses a critical gap in knowledge about linguistic variation, migration, and identity in the United States by focusing on LA—the second largest city in the U.S., but one of the most linguistically understudied major metropolitan areas. Furthermore, the project builds on our knowledge of what language is by deploying audio and visual methods to understand relationships between speech and co-occurring multimodal embodied movements. 

This project aims to document language, life, and experience in the greater region of Los Angeles. We are interested in similarities and variations in Angeleno’s experiences of living in LA relative to different neighborhoods.  The project is concerned with:

  1. Identifying whether or not there is an “LA accent”—specific communicative features (linguistic, gesture, prosodic, stylistic, etc.) that are unique to Los Angeles and Angelenos' identity;

  2. How participants conceptualize the physical and cultural boundaries of their neighborhood, Los Angeles county, and the state of California;

  3. Identifying linguistic and communicative variation between Los Angeles neighborhoods;

  4. How participants conceptualize and experience their neighborhood;

Who is Eligible?

  • Started learning English before age 8

  • English should be currently a dominant language

  • Between 8 and 18 no more than 2 years living outside of a 5 mile radius of their neighborhood

  • After 18 no more than 6 years outside of LA

  • Participant should be native to Los Angeles, and should have grown up and currently live in the same neighborhoods.
     

Participation