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Investigation sociophonétique de l’anglais en Écosse : le cas de Ayr

Abstract : This thesis has a twofold objective: first of all, the diachronic and synchronic exploration of the controversial relationship between the standard variety of English spoken in Scotland and Scots, and secondly, the presentation of an empirical study of some of the characteristics of Scottish English based on our own sociophonetic survey of contemporary speakers from Ayr. Following our general study of Scottish Standard English (SSE), our research then focuses on a set of morpho-phonological processes usually referred to as the “Scottish Vowel Length Rule” with the aim of improving on the existing descriptive and theoretical accounts of this phenomenon. The empirical framework of our study is provided by the PAC linguistic project (“La Phonologie de l’Anglais Contemporain”) based on a traditional Labovian methodology incorporating different registers of language use. Our data relating to 12 speakers thus allows us to investigate the sociolinguistic dimensions of the variety of English spoken in Ayr and to perform phonetic analyses on the variables under study. Our acoustic measurements reveal a quantitative variation of / i u ai / conditioned by the morphological and the segmental structure of the word. On the other hand, / e a o ɔ ɪ ɛ ʌ au ɔi / showed no variability linked to the morphological structure, which confirms the findings of some previous studies. As for the lengthening effect of the post-vocalic voiced consonant on the preceding vowel, no straightforward results could be obtained. From a theoretical standpoint, our study concentrates on the rather uncertain status of length in the vowel system of Scottish English. Although it is often asserted that vowel length plays no role in this variety of English, it is our contention that vowels can indeed be divided into two sets: short and long. However, the grouping we propose on the basis of our empirical results does not correspond straightforwardly to any traditional analysis.
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Monika Pukli. Investigation sociophonétique de l’anglais en Écosse : le cas de Ayr. Linguistique. Université de Toulouse 2 Le Mirail, 2006. Français. ⟨tel-01986064⟩

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