International Journal of Speech Language and the Law, Vol 23, No 1 (2016)

Individual variation in allophonic processes of /t/ in Standard Southern British English

Núria Gavaldà
Issued Date: 8 Jul 2016

Abstract


Several studies have demonstrated that the analysis of features that show sociolinguistic variation provides important information about speakers and, therefore, they are useful to be considered in forensic contexts (Moosmüller 1997; Loakes and McDougall 2004, 2007, 2010; de Jong et al 2007a and 2007b). The present research analyses the discriminatory potential of three allophonic processes of /t/ that show variation in SSBE: tapping, glottaling and frication. Nine categorical variables that consider these processes were formulated and compared by means of the Chi-square test in a corpus containing real time data from 10 different speakers (five males and five females). Results show that these processes are speaker and context-specific since they exhibit high discriminatory potential only in certain linguistic contexts, where intra-speaker variation is low and inter-speaker variation is high. Therefore, the study presented here highlights the relevance of the analysis of sociolinguistic variation in forensic contexts.

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DOI: 10.1558/ijsll.v23i1.26870

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