T-tapping in Standard Southern British English : An ‘elite’ sociolinguistic variant?

Alderton, R. (2022) T-tapping in Standard Southern British English : An ‘elite’ sociolinguistic variant? Journal of Sociolinguistics, 26 (2). pp. 287-298. ISSN 1360-6441

Full text not available from this repository.


Social class is one of the key axes of sociolinguistic variation, but the speech of those at the top of the class spectrum—the elite—is rarely studied. While T-glottalling has spread widely across British English accents, a competing variant—T-tapping—has attracted little scholarly attention in the United Kingdom. This article presents a study of elite speech by examining sociolinguistic variation in T-tapping among adolescent speakers of Standard Southern British English. Data were collected from interviews with teenagers aged 16–19 at two schools in Hampshire, UK. T-tapping is led by those who previously attended private school and is used more by boys than girls in formal speech. The findings suggest that T-tapping may be used to index a combination of authority and informality, which is invoked by elite speakers to assert themselves from a position of privilege while maintaining an image of openness and approachability.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Sociolinguistics
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? elitessocial classsocial meaningstandard southern british englisht-tappinglanguage and linguisticshistory and philosophy of sciencephilosophylinguistics and languagesociology and political science ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
11 Jan 2022 09:55
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 22:13