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Dialect acquisition of glottal variation in /t/: Barbadians in Ipswich

Straw, Michelle and Patrick, Peter L (2007) 'Dialect acquisition of glottal variation in /t/: Barbadians in Ipswich.' Language Sciences, 29 (2-3). pp. 385-407. ISSN 0388-0001


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This article considers dialect contact and second-dialect acquisition by adult and child Barbadian English speakers converging towards an East Anglian variety of English. We examine glottal variation in word-final /t/, comparing the local dialect of Anglo ('white') speakers in Ipswich to that of Barbados-born speakers living there, and to British English varieties more generally. We investigate this variable using instrumental analysis and consider (i) whether its use by Ipswich Anglo urban speakers indicates diffusion, (ii) whether its patterning among Barbadian immigrant speakers reflects dialect acquisition and (iii) how methodologically secure the received wisdom is concerning one of Britain's most often-studied sociolinguistic variables of recent years. We briefly consider the social context for the English and Barbadian varieties, review the literature on glottal variants of /t/ in British urban dialects, and examine those environments most commonly studied for the variable, and the usual explanation for its relative frequency across them. We then compare the Ipswich Anglo and Barbadian data and reconcile the two patterns in an interpretation which finds both ethnically-aligned contrasts and agreement on norms local to Ipswich. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: dialect contact; sociolinguistics; phonetics; language variation and change; British dialects; Caribbean English Creoles
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2015 16:45
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 11:12

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