200 Oxley Hall
1712 Neil Ave.
Areas of Expertise
- Laboratory phonology
- Language variation and change
- Quantitative sociolinguistics
- M.A. Linguistics, North Carolina State University, 2019
- B.A. Linguistics and Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis, 2017
I am a Ph.D. student in the Department of Linguistics at Ohio State University, where I work with Cynthia Clopper and Kathryn Campbell-Kibler on research projects relating to laboratory phonology and language variation and change. I combine methodologies from phonetics, phonology, and sociolinguistics to explore the origins and implementations of allophonic patterns in American English regional dialects. I am interested in how changes in both perception and production can inform theories of sound change, and especially theories of phonologization, more generally. I have worked on the origins of pre-voiceless diphthong raising ("American raising") in several U.S. cities, including New Orleans (LA) and Columbus (OH), and of /aw/ retraction in Raleigh (NC), a city where the Southern Vowel Shift is receding.
Recent refereed publications
Shport, I., Bissell, M., Berkson, K., & Carmichael, K. (2023). Regional and individual variation in acoustic targets of /ai/ and /au/ in American English. Proceedings of the International Conference of the 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences.
Bissell, M. (2023). Placing /aw/ retraction in the retreat from the Southern Vowel Shift in Raleigh, North Carolina. Journal of English Linguistics, 55(1): 66-83. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/00754242221144474.
Bissell, M., & Carmichael, K. (2022). “Dialect B” on the Mississippi: An acoustic study of /aw/ raising patterns in Greater New Orleans, Louisiana. Laboratory Phonology: Journal of the Association for Laboratory Phonology, 13(1). DOI: https://doi.org/10.16995/labphon.6453.
Bissell, M., & Wolfram, W. (2022). Oppositional identity and back vowel fronting in a tri-ethnic context: The case of Lumbee English. American Speech, 97(1): 51-68. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-9116251.
Pre-voiceless diphthong raising in several U.S. cities: We are investigating the phonetic origin, diachronic implementation, and phonologization of pre-voiceless /aj/ and /aw/ raising among American English speakers in Indiana, Ohio, and Louisiana. This project is an ongoing collaboration with Katie Carmichael at Virginia Tech, Kelly Berkson at Indiana University, and Irina Shport at LSU.
Dialect effects on perceptual adaptation and generalization: My second qualifying paper examines how dialect experience with particular types of vowel shifts in regional varieties of American English affects perceptual adaptation to and generalization of a novel vowel shift. This manuscript is in preparation.