Dressing down up north: DRESS-lowering and /l/ allophony in a Scottish dialect

Holmes-Elliott, S. and Smith, J. (2018) Dressing down up north: DRESS-lowering and /l/ allophony in a Scottish dialect. Language Variation and Change, 30(1), pp. 23-50. (doi: 10.1017/S0954394517000278)

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This study reports on a sociophonetic investigation of dress-lowering in a rural dialect in northeast Scotland. Previous analyses have indicated that this change is ongoing in a number of varieties worldwide, propelled by a combination of linguistic constraints and favorable associations with Anglo urban Californian varieties. In this paper we examine whether these influences play out in a relic dialect previously resistant to more supralocal changes. Through an analysis of a range of acoustic correlates, we track the progress of this change across three generations of speakers. Analysis of the constraints suggests that in this variety the change is driven by internal pressures, where it is significantly constrained by phonetic environment, specifically, following laterals. Further analysis of this environment reveals increasing distinction on the F2-F1 spectrum, where /l/s have become lighter in onsets and darker in codas. Our analyses reveal that these changes may be viewed as complementary, as they share the same acoustic correlates, suggesting that system-internal pressures are the primary driving force of dress-lowering in this variety.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Holmes-Elliott, Dr Sophie and Smith, Professor Jennifer
Authors: Holmes-Elliott, S., and Smith, J.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:Language Variation and Change
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1469-8021
Published Online:22 May 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Cambridge University Press
First Published:First published in Language Variation and Change 30(1): 23-50
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
594331One Speaker, two dialects: bidialectalism across the generations in a Scottish community.Jennifer SmithEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/K000861/1CRIT - ENGLISH LANGUAGE & LINGUISTICS