Elizabeth Gentry Brunner


My dissertation research centers on the speech perception of non-native speakers. It's really exciting research, but I have to wait to completely describe it on here until I have finished gathering my data.

I have also studied the phonetic patterns present in Houston, Texas, as a part of the Houston Urban English Survey (HUES). This is a comprehensive study of language variation in Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States. Houston is extremely diverse, and no ethnic group composes a majority of the population (Klineberg 2006). This metropolitan area is a goldmine for research in language variation, both within and across languages. The goal of HUES is to analyze all aspects of language variation, including phonetics, perception, syntax, and style, by observing the speech of Houstonians of varying races and social classes. My contribution to HUES was a sociophonetic investigation of speech. My study involved an analysis of phonetic variation of Anglos and African-Americans in this sprawling and diverse city. I found that the dialect of white Houstonians is a mixture of features characterizing the Southern and the Western dialects. This is interesting because Houston is traditionally assumed to be part of the South, which is itself divided between metropolitan and rural speakers. I extended my study of Anglo speakers to African-American speakers in order to understand how different ethnicities fit into this blend of Southern and Western dialects and how region and race determine language variation.



Brunner, Elizabeth.To appear. The Study of Variation from Two Perspectives. Language and Linguistics Compass.

Koops, Chris, Elizabeth Gentry and Andrew Pantos. 2008.The Effect of Perceived Speaker Age on the Perception of PIN and PEN Vowels in Houston, Texas. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 14.2, ed. by Kyle Gorman. 93-101.



Brunner, Elizabeth. The Identification of Foreign-Accented English: A Sociolinguistic Topic with Forensic Significance. New Ways of Analyzing Variation 37. November 6-9, 2008.

Gentry, Elizabeth and Andrew Pantos. /ay/ Monophthongization in the Pre-Tap Environment. LSA Summer Meeting, July 10-13, 2008.

Gentry, Elizabeth. Forensic Implications of Foreign Accent Perception. Rice University Linguistics Department Colloquium. January 31, 2008.

Gentry, Elizabeth. The Lack of Southern Shifting among African Americans and Anglos in Houston, Texas. Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America: Symposium on Urban Vowel Phonology and African American Ethnicity. January 3-6, 2008.

Koops, Chris, Elizabeth Gentry, and Andrew Pantos. Do We Believe What They Perceive? What Speech Perception Reveals about a Southern "Unmerger" in Progress. New Ways of Analyzing Variation 36. October 11-14, 2007. Abstract

Gentry, Elizabeth. 2007. When the South Doesn't Shift. Rice Linguistics Society Workshop. February 3-4, 2007.

Gentry, Elizabeth. 2006. Hovering between the South and West: Houston's Merged Dialect. New Ways of Analyzing Variation 35. November 9-12, 2006. Abstract


Curriculum Vitae

My CV is currently not online, but I am happy to email it.




©2008 - Questions/Comments?