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

Alderton, R. (2021) T-tapping in Standard Southern British English:An ‘elite’ sociolinguistic variant? Journal of Sociolinguistics. ISSN 1360-6441

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Abstract

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:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3312
Subjects:
ID Code:
164262
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
11 Jan 2022 09:55
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
12 Jan 2022 07:45