14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Intonation in Scotland: Fife English

Margit Aufierbeck

Graduiertenkolleg 'Dynamik von Substandardvariettiten', University of Heidelberg, Germany

In his taxonomy, Ladd [l] distinguishes between semantic, systemic, realisational and phonotactic intonational differences of languages. However, such differences not only apply to different languages but also to different varieties of one language. This paper illustrates this point with data from English as spoken in Glasgow (GE) and Fife (FE) and from Southern British English. Comparisons of data from map task corpora show that varieties differ both systemically in their inventory of phonologically distinct tune types, and realisationally in the phonetic implementation of tunes belonging to one phonological category. Firstly, in contexts where GE produces a characteristic rise-plateau-slump contour, FE speakers choose suspended falls. The FE tune inventory lacks the rise-plateau-fall. Secondly, the results show that the varieties differ in phonetic realisation: the GE rising pattern does exist in FE but differs in dip alignment: while rises in GE begin before the accented syllable, FE rises begin within or after the accented syllable.


  1. Ladd, R. 1996. Intonational Phonology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Aufierbeck, Margit (1999): "Intonation in Scotland: Fife English", In ICPhS-14, 1989-1992.