3 1 28-39 2017

Style-Shifting in Vlogging: An Acoustic Analysis of “YouTube Voice”

Sarah Lee


This article demonstrates evidence of context-related style-shifting on YouTube. This was achieved by comparing the vowels of vlogger Phil Lester in multiple contexts (a solo vlog, collaborative vlog, gaming video, and live video). A mixed-model regression found significant differences between the more scripted solo vlog context and the less scripted gaming and live videos: in the former, Lester’s FOOT/STRUT merger was reduced, and in the latter he showed considerable variability in his employment of the TRAP/BATH split. It is argued that this results from greater attention paid to level aspects of his Northern accent for an international audience.


style shifting; intraspeaker variation; sociophonetics; regional dialects; UK English

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.2218/ls.v3i1.2017.1826


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