Tag Archives: phonetics

Perturbation theory

150th Anniversary of the Bell Vowel Model 5 September 2017 saw the 150th anniversary of Alexander Melville Bell’s vowel model. However innovative it may have seemed, his notion of continuous backness and the class of central vowels were purely hypothetical … Continue reading

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Is cardinal 4 front or central?

150th Anniversary of the Bell Vowel Model 4 September 2017 saw the 150th anniversary of Alexander Melville Bell’s vowel model.  Daniel Jones’ cardinal vowel system was a modification of Bell’s model, especially reducing Bell’s three low vowels to two. Was … Continue reading

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New article

A spectrographic study of sound changes in nineteenth century Kent. 2017. In Tsudzuki, Masaki & Masaki Taniguchi (eds), A Festschrift for Jack Windsor Lewis on the occasion of his 90th Birthday 215-246, Journal of the English Phonetic Society of Japan … Continue reading

Posted in Accents, Articulation, Consonants, Dialects, English, Kent, Pronunciation, rhoticity, RP, Vowels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

19th century sound change in Kent: LOT

The distribution of LOT pronunciations by the seven informants. Most still had [a~ɑ]-like earlier pronunciations (O). Only two had as yet acquired the new pronunciation [ɔ] (N). The earlier 19th century popular pronunciation in Kent for LOT was [a~ɑ]. The … 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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Rhoticity in Lancashire 2: Southport to Rochdale

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). This page reports Area B (Southport, Chorley, Bolton, Rochdale). Briefly, the sound examples are taken from … Continue reading

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Correlation and causality: ejectives

Spurious correlations “Recent studies have been uncovering some surprising links between cultural traits. For example, between chocolate consumption and the number of Nobel laureates a country produces, between the number of phonemes in a language and distance from East Africa, … Continue reading

Posted in Articulation, Caucasia, Caucasus, Consonants, Ejectives, English, Methods | Tagged , , , ,

Rhoticity in Lancashire: Liverpool – Manchester

The aim of this article is to check some on-line sources  for evidence of changing habits of rhoticity in Lancashire accents. Rhoticity is concerned with the pronunciation of the consonant r. In English, rhotic speakers pronounce all instances of /r/, … Continue reading

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The Bell vowel model: its acoustic weaknesses

1. The single resonance and two resonance theories. Bell coupled his new vowel model to the then popular single resonance theory, claiming the vowel tone (resonance) depended on the dimensions of the buccal cavity. In Visible Speech (1867:71), he postulated … Continue reading

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