Speech Development in Scottish Children: a comparative study of the influence of local vs. non-local parental dialect on vowel acquisition
Scobbie, James M.
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Thomas, S. & Scobbie, J. (2013) Speech Development in Scottish Children: a comparative study of the influence of local vs. non-local parental dialect on vowel acquisition, Proceedings of the Third International Conference on English Pronunciation: Issues and Practices (EPIP3), , , pp. 108-111,
Our prospective study will analyse vowel patterns in 40 children living in Scotland's most heavily populated cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh. These are cities with markedly different socioeconomic compositions, and many socially stratified accent features (Stuart-Smith 1999; Chirrey 1999). Half the children will have parents with Scottish accents, and half with parents speaking Southern English accents. Transcriptional and acoustic analyses will be used to examine phonetic features and lexical sets memberships (Wells 1982) expected to differ between these two systems, e.g. monophthongal vs. diphthongal features (FACE and GOAT), potential phonemic contrast (COT vs. CAUGHT), and rhotic vs. non-rhotic pronunciations. We report here pilot work underpinning this research. First, we report on a single case study of a child with mixed Scottish/English input in the home, whose speech patterns indicated the acquisition of a mixed system, in particular with regards to monophthongal vs. diphthongal features. Second, using data from QMU's ULTRAX project, we focus on inter-sibling variation, exemplifying a range of Scottish/English accent mixtures.