Ethnicity and phonetic variation in Sheffield English liquids

Kirkham, Sam (2017) Ethnicity and phonetic variation in Sheffield English liquids. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 47 (1). pp. 17-35. ISSN 0025-1003

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Abstract

This article reports a study of acoustic phonetic variation between ethnic groups in the realisation of the British English liquids /l/ and /ɹ/. Data are presented from ‘Anglo’ and ‘Asian’ native speakers of Sheffield English. Sheffield Anglo English is typically described as having ‘dark’ /l/, but there is some disagreement in the literature. British Asian speakers, on the other hand, are often described as producing much ‘clearer’ realisations of /l/, but the specific differences between varieties may vary by geographical location. Regression analysis of liquid steady states and Smoothing Spline ANOVAs of vocalic-liquid formant trajectories show consistent F2-F1 differences in /l/ between Anglo and Asian speakers in non-final contexts, which is suggestive of a strong distinction between varieties in terms of clearness/darkness. There is also evidence of a polarity effect in liquids, with differing relationships between liquid phonemes in each variety: Asian speakers produce /l/ with higher F2-F1 values than /ɹ/, and Anglo speakers produce /ɹ/ with higher F2-F1 values than /l/. The results are discussed in terms of phonetic variation in liquids and socioindexical factors in speech production.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of the International Phonetic Association
Additional Information:
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=IPA The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 47 (1), pp 17-35 2017, © 2017 International Phonetic Association.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2733
Subjects:
ID Code:
76380
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
26 Oct 2015 12:12
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
11 Jul 2020 05:29