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Life on the Edge: A sociophonological analysis of diphthong variation and change

Amos, Jennifer (2013) Life on the Edge: A sociophonological analysis of diphthong variation and change. Discussion Paper. Essex Research Reports in Linguistics, University of Essex, Colchester, UK.


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This paper presents an innovative socio-phonological analysis of dialect variation and change. The analysis uses sociolinguistic data regarding the diphthongs |au|, |ai| and |ei| in Mersea Island English, a variety of British English. The trajectory of change shown by the data, as well as certain aspects of contextual variation (namely Canadian Raising) will provide the basis for outlining a three-tiered model that represents both internal (linguistic) and external (sociolinguistic) factors on variation and, ultimately, change . The model draws on the mechanics of both Dispersion Theory and Optimality Theory. This allows for system optimisation in the underlying phonology to be represented alongside optimal candidate selections after phonetic contextual information becomes available. The outputs from these levels, together with other possible surface variants, are then shown to have sociolinguistic associations that influence which form is ultimately selected as the surface form.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2013 10:07
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2014 11:14

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