The sociolinguistic stratification of a connected speech process - The case of the T to R rule in the Black Country


This paper examines the connected speech process described by Wells (1982b) as the T to R rule in the West Midlands speech variety associated with the Black Country. The T to R rule is well known as a linguistic marker of local varieties of the middle and far north of England. Less well understood is its position in the phonological systems of Midlands varieties. Varieties of the Midlands of England are underresearched in comparison with varieties of the north, and what is known about the application of the T to R rule in this transitional dialect area is correspondingly nebulous. This paper focuses on the Black Country area, and examines the possible outputs in the contexts which give rise to /t/ becoming [?] in local varieties of the north. I examine the written and spoken evidence which suggests that the T to R rule does indeed operate in the Black Country variety. My analysis focuses on possible phonetic outcomes of the T to R rule across time. In my conclusion, I discuss briefly the possibility that, lying on a bundle of isoglosses separating north from south, the variety of the Black Country reflects this in that a T to [?] rule, rather than a T to R rule, is the dominant output of this connected speech process in the Black Country.

Divisions: ?? 53981500Jl ??
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture (CCISC)
Uncontrolled Keywords: connected speech process,Wells,West Midlands,speech variety,Black Country,T to R rule,linguistic marker,local varieties,England,phonological systems
Publication ISSN: 1747-9339
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2024 07:02
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2010 12:40
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.leed ... PL/WP2008/7.pdf (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2008
Authors: Asprey, Esther C.

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record