Ejectives in Scottish English: a social perspective

McCarthy, O. and Stuart-Smith, J. (2013) Ejectives in Scottish English: a social perspective. Journal of International Phonetic Association, 43(3), pp. 273-298. (doi:10.1017/S0025100313000212)

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Abstract

This paper presents the results of an analysis of the realization of word-final /k/ in a sample of read and casual speech by 28 female pupils from a single-sex Glaswegian high school. Girls differed in age, socioeconomic background, and ethnicity. Ejectives were the most usual variant for /k/ in both speech styles, occurring in the speech of every pupil in our sample. Our narrow auditory analysis revealed a continuum of ejective production, from weak to intense stops. Results from multinomial logistic regression show that ejective production is promoted by phonetic, linguistic and interactional factors: ejectives were used more in read speech, when /k/ occurred in the /-ŋk/ cluster (e.g. tank), and when the relevant word was either at the end of a clause or sentence, or in turn-final position. At the same time, significant interactions between style, and position in turn, and the social factors of age and ethnicity, show that the use of ejectives by these girls is subject to a fine degree of sociolinguistic control, alongside interactional factors. Finally, cautious comparison of these data with recordings made in 1997 suggests that these results may also reflect a sound change in progress, given the very substantial real-time increase in ejective realizations of /k/ in Glasgow over the past fourteen years.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Stuart-Smith, Professor Jane
Authors: McCarthy, O., and Stuart-Smith, J.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:Journal of International Phonetic Association
Journal Abbr.:JIPA
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0025-1003
ISSN (Online):1475-3502
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 International Phonetic Association
First Published:First published in the Journal of International Phonetic Association 43(3):273-298
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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