News / Highlights:

UP Talk Study

Dr. Wil Rankinen, assistant professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department, interviewed 108+ residents across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan during the summer of 2017.


The "How Michiganders Talk in the UP" study (or just "UP Talk") is a UP-wide project to quantitatively investigate an array of linguistic features related to pronunciation (i.e., sociophonetic study).

The study is not about "right" or "wrong" ways of talking. The study is interested in understanding the similarities and differences (i.e., if they exist) in how native long-standing UP residents produce, perceive and think about the various UP speech patterns.

The Sociolinguistic Interview:

This sociolinguistic interview is a recorded interview that takes about 90 minutes of your time. During this interview you are asked do various task to elicit production and perception data, as well as, attitudes about the everyday use of English in Michigan's UP.

Because this interview is recorded, each participant is required to complete a consent form before participating in the task. Please click here for specifics of this consent form.


In order to participate, you must:

  1. have lived no more than 5 years of your life away from one of the six research sites (or respective county),

  2. have received a high school diploma but nothing higher than a 4-year degree,

  3. have no history of a speech/hearing disorder or hearing loss, and

  4. be 18 or older.


If you have questions or concerns regarding this study,

please feel to contact Wil A. Rankinen, Ph.D.,

at [email protected] or at (616) 331-5541.

Page last modified March 7, 2019