(R) as a Variable
Scobbie, James M.
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Scobbie, J. (2006) (R) as a Variable, , vol. 10, , pp. 337-344, Oxford
All sounds are variable, but some are more variable than others. Does hyper-variation mean a greater disposition for sociolinguistically relevant conditioning, or, alternatively, a tendency for relatively greater noisiness in the distribution of unconditioned variants? Whatever the case, there should clearly be a special interest in the sociolinguistic systemization of those sounds that are so unusually prone to variation that it is difficult to capture them within a simple articulatory and acoustic definition. Such is the case with the sociolinguistic variable (R).