Biological and social grounding of phonology : variation as a research tool
Scobbie, James M.
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Scobbie, J. (2007) Biological and social grounding of phonology : variation as a research tool, Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of the ICPhS, , , pp. 225-228,
Phonological-phonetic sound systems are abstractions away from substance, so while they are grounded in biological capacity, they also reflect phonetically un-natural relationships arising from a variety of linguistic factors. Sociolinguistic variation is one of these non-biological factors. Pilot articulatory results are presented from derhoticised Scottish English. It can have onset/ coda allophony far more radical than the systems that are normally examined in articulatory research. Ultrasound analysis shows acoustic rhoticity in codas may have a post-alveolar constriction so delayed that acoustic rhoticity is covert. Perceptual recoverability of social identity has to be considered in addition to plain phonetic factors.