The Century of Language Change in Columbus (CLCC) Project
During the course of the 20th century, the Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area underwent a period of massive and explosive growth, both in the central city, or urban, portion of Columbus, as well as the suburbs (especially during the second half of the 20th century). Given these intense changes, we might expect that such change would have an impact on the area's culture, and one aspect of culture is the language people use.
The Century of Language Change in Columbus (CLCC) Project is a research and field work project dedicated to documenting, analyzing, and presenting information pertaining to, changes that have occurred in Columbus speech during the course of the entire 20th century as a result of the geographic and cultural changes that impacted the area during this time period. In particular, the project focuses on variation in the way folks of various backgrounds pronounce vowel sounds--as these sounds are often one of the more salient markers of regional or local identity by speakers. By background, we mean here someone's social background characteristics--the social class affiliation some one might have, their sex (whether they are a man or a woman), their age, their race, and even quite possibly the location within the greater Columbus area in which someone grew up.
There are several topics covered on this Web site:
First, there are the results of our ongoing study of language changes in the community. The primary type of data featured on this site is phonetic (that is, data on the pronunciation of sounds), specificially vowel variation data. Results are drawn primarily from the speech of Columbusites born throughout the 20th Century, although some focus is also given to patterns of dialect variation found in the speech of Columbus-area residents born during the 19th Century, when data is available.
The results of the analysis of patterns of vowel variation will also eventually be presented in an expanded form in a dissertation written by OSU graduate student David Durian. More details on the contents of this dissertation will be available shortly. For now however, you may see work in progress on the dissertation via the CLCC results and CLCC presentations pages.
Second, there is some information on the CLCC Project researchers. If you are an OSU linguistics undergraduate, and you are looking for credit for an internship in linguistics (LING 489), please consider working for the CLCC Project. The CLCC is currently unable to offer a paid internship, but we do offer exciting opportunities to gain hands on experience in cutting edge phonetic analysis techniques, as well as academic credit for doing so! If you are interested, contact Julie McGory for more details.
Third, there is also some information on CLCC Project collaborators--organizations that have contributed data used in the analysis of patterns of dialect variation on this Web site. These organizations include the Ohio Historical Society, the Dictionary of American Regional English [DARE], and the Linguistic Atlas of the North Central States [LANCS].