Crowdsourcing variation and change of FOOT / STRUT and TRAP / BATH across England

Leemann, Adrian Martin; Walker, Eleanor; Brown, Georgina; Kirkham, Sam; Nance, Claire; Britain, David; Blaxter, Tam (27 June 2019). Crowdsourcing variation and change of FOOT / STRUT and TRAP / BATH across England (Unpublished). In: International Conference on Language Variation in Europe, ICLAVE. Fryske Akademy, Leeuwarden, Netherlands. 26.-28. Juni 2019.

Dialects across England vary in different linguistic domains including morphosyntax, lexicon, as well as in phonetics and phonology. In terms of phonology, a typical marker of a Northern vs. Southern divide is the presence or absence of a split in the lexical sets FOOT and STRUT as well as in TRAP and BATH – with the North typically not showing such splits, as attested by mostly historical surveys (Orton & Dieth 1962; Wells 1982). Since the most recent nationwide survey of these splits is now over 50 years old, it is pertinent to ask whether these isoglosses have shifted over the past decades (see Britain 2002; Kettig 2015). Here we provide a first attempt at capturing contemporary nationwide variation of the two splits. We analyzed data crowdsourced through the smartphone app ‘English Dialects’ (Leemann et al. 2018). Through the app, more than 3,500 speakers across the UK recorded a reading passage and, for the current study, we analyzed data from 112 speakers from 12 localities across England (Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Norwich, Nottingham, Peterborough, Sheffield, York). Audio recordings of 10-12 speakers per locality, aged between 18 and 30 were analyzed for the present study. The onset and offset boundaries of FOOT, STRUT, TRAP, and BATH vowels from the Boy Who Cried Wolf reading passage were force-aligned and then manually corrected using Praat (Boersma & Weenink 2018), before carrying out formant estimation. Data analysis is still ongoing, but based on first exploration of the corpus (Britain et al 2016, Leemann et al. 2018), it appears that the FOOT / STRUT isogloss has moved in a northerly direction (with parts of Yorkshire already implementing the split), while the TRAP / BATH isogloss seems to have remained more stable or even have moved in a southerly direction, with the absence of the split spreading towards the south. This research will allow comparison with historical studies and enable us to expand our perspective from a focus on regional variation alone to include other relevant social factors such as age, gender, social class, ethnicity and educational background.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures
06 Faculty of Humanities > Other Institutions > Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg) > Center for the Study of Language and Society (CSLS)
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures > Modern English Linguistics

UniBE Contributor:

Leemann, Adrian Martin and Britain, David

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
400 Language
400 Language > 410 Linguistics
400 Language > 420 English & Old English languages

Language:

English

Submitter:

Fabienne Blaser

Date Deposited:

20 Apr 2020 16:40

Last Modified:

03 Jul 2020 14:28

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/138862

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