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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Phoneme Deletion in Spontaneous British English

Olivier Corbin

Laboratoire de Phonétique et Phonologie-CNRS, France

The purpose of this acoustic study was to investigate the differences in phoneme deletion between lexical and function words in spontaneous British English and, where possible, compare our results with parallel studies conducted on French and Taiwanese Mandarin (Su & Basset, 1998). We also made an inventory of deleted consonants and vowels with respect to the syllable structure. Four native speakers of British English were recorded while having spontaneous conversations in order to obtain fifteen minutes of corpus. The global results show that consonants are more likely to disappear (5.3%) than vowels (2.4%) and that vowels are more often deleted in lexical words than in function words while it is the reverse for consonants. Alveolar consonants represent 76% of the deleted consonants and all deleted vowels belong to the non-low lax category.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Corbin, Olivier (2003): "Phoneme deletion in spontaneous British English", In ICPhS-15, 2813-2816.