Category Archives: English

19th century sound change in Kent: FACE

Figure 1. The distribution of FACE pronunciations. All the informants had acquired the new [ɛi]-like FACE diphthong, indicating this is the earliest of the 19th century sound changes in Kent. All the informants have [ɛi], a new sound change that … Continue reading

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19th century sound change in Kent

This page traces ten sound changes that completely changed the character of the regional accent spoken in 19th century Kent Rural locations and years of birth of the seven SED Kentish informants and H G Wells (each in bold italics), … Continue reading

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Vowel articulation: Tongue height and backing

An ever-present issue is tongue height and backness as a reference frame for vowel articulation. This is not new. The inadequacy of height and backness has been well known but largely disregarded for at least 85 years, since Russell (1928, … Continue reading

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Kent Accent in the 19th Century: BATH

Throughout the 19th century, and presumably back to the time of the TRAP-BATH split, the timbre of the BATH vowel in Kent had been a bright [aː]-like quality, roughly in the vacant central open position on an IPA vowel diagram … Continue reading

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Halfway to Estuary English: H G Wells

Biologist, author, journalist, H. G. Wells was born in Bromley (Kent, U.K.) in 1866, the youngest son of a professional cricketer and a domestic servant. I’d half expected to hear an example of Estuary English partially modified towards RP, but … Continue reading

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Said about Estuary English

This turned up the other day Estuary English – the pride of Kent Susie Rushton’s Notebook: The Independent, Tuesday 7 June 2011 http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/columnists/susie-rushton-estuary-english-ndash-the-pride-of-kent-2293831.html “Let me make my own declamation of regional pride. Estuary is also the accent of people who, … Continue reading

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Grandfather and Martha’s Vineyard

xxx Map of Martha’s Vineyard. Source: Labov (1963) Martha’s Vineyard is an island off the Massachusetts coast SW of Cape Cod, and a popular resort for Bostonians. The permanent population are famous in various ways. Until not so very long … Continue reading

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Southern British English 3

Home Counties SBE vowel formants This page continues from Part 2, that introduced a spectrographic study of the monophthong vowels of five speakers of RP. A similar study for five speakers of home counties SBE is presented now. The home … Continue reading

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Southern British English 2

RP SBE vowel formants This page introduces a spectrographic study of the monophthong vowels of five speakers of RP (the same five speakers who were introduced in Part 1). Together, they cover 100 years (birth years from 1874 to 1961), … Continue reading

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Rhoticity in Lancashire 3: Preston to Colne

This page continues from the first part of this series, which has the introduction, definition of rhoticity, and the report for Area A (Liverpool-Manchester). The report for Area B (Southport, Chorley, Bolton, Rochdale) is here. This page reports Area C … Continue reading

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