Dialectal phonology constrains the phonetics of prominence

Smith, R. and Rathcke, T. (2020) Dialectal phonology constrains the phonetics of prominence. Journal of Phonetics, 78, 100934. (doi: 10.1016/j.wocn.2019.100934)

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Accentual prominence has well-documented effects on various phonetic properties, including timing, vowel quality, amplitude, and pitch. These cues can exist in trading relationships and can differ in magnitude in different languages. Less is understood about how phonetic cues to accentuation surface under different phonological constraints, such as those posed by segmental phonology, aspects of the prosodic hierarchy, and intonational phonology. Dialectal comparisons offer a valuable window on these issues, because dialects of a language share basic aspects of structure and function, but can differ in key segmental and suprasegmental constraints which may affect the cues that realise accentual prominence. We compared the realisation of trochaic words (e.g. cheesy, picky) in accented/unaccented and phrase-final/non-final positions in two dialects of British English, Standard Southern British English, and Standard Scottish English as spoken in Glasgow. We found generally shallower prominence gradients for Glasgow than SSBE with respect to intensity and duration, and very little evidence of accentual lengthening of vowels in Glasgow, compared to robust effects in SSBE. In contrast, phrase-finality had similar effects across the two dialects. The differences observed illustrate how the expression of accentual prominence reflects and reveals the different segmental and intonational systems that operate within dialects of the same language.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was supported by the ESRC (Award ref. ES/G001456/1 previous ref: RES-061-25-0302).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Rathcke, Dr Tamara and Smith, Dr Rachel
Authors: Smith, R., and Rathcke, T.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:Journal of Phonetics
ISSN (Online):1095-8576
Published Online:09 December 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Phonetics 78:100934
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
161460Timing in Accents of EnglishRachel SmithEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/G001456/1Arts - English Language and Linguistics