15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Modelling Change in the Liquid System in Tyneside English

Paul Carter, John Local

University of York, UK

Liquids in varieties of English are distinguished not only by F3 but also by the local and temporally-distributed characteristics of the spectrum below F3. We present an analysis of [l] and [ɹ] in the speech of young Tynesiders which reveals an ongoing change in typical sub-F3 spectral characteristics. The acoustic changes we identify are dependent on innovations in the liquid system having to do with labiodental ([ʋ]) rhotic productions and with prosodic structure. We deduce that medial liquids are ambisyllabic and that the sub-F3 distinctions in Tyneside English are primarily associated with liquids in syllable onsets, where the two liquids contrast with one another. We therefore suggest that the exploitation of this phonetic resource is connected with phonological contrast.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Carter, Paul / Local, John (2003): "Modelling change in the liquid system in Tyneside English", In ICPhS-15, 1193-1196.