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TD-deletion in British English: New evidence for the long-lost morphological effect

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/06/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Language Variation and Change
Issue number1
Number of pages23
Pages (from-to)1-23
Publication statusPublished
Early online date6/05/20
Original languageEnglish


This paper analyzes td-deletion, the process whereby coronal stops /t, d/ are deleted after a consonant at the end of the word (e.g., best, kept, missed) in the speech of 93 speakers from Manchester, stratified for age, social class, gender, and ethnicity. Prior studies of British English have not found the morphological effect—more deletion in monomorphemic mist than past tense missed—commonly observed in American English. We find this effect in Manchester and provide evidence that the rise of glottal stop replacement in postsonorant position in British English (e.g., halt, aunt) may be responsible for the reduction in the strength of this effect in British varieties. Glottaling blocks deletion, and, because the vast majority of postsonorant tokens are monomorphemic, the higher rates of monomorpheme glottaling dampens the typical effect of deletion in this context. These findings indicate organization at a higher level of the grammar, while also showing overlaid effects of factors such as style and word frequency.

Bibliographic note

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/language-variation-and-change/article/tddeletion-in-british-english-new-evidence-for-the-longlost-morphological-effect/4157F17EED627BA7938B11FA9D7BB816 The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Language Variation and Change, 32 (1), pp 1-23 2020, © 2020 Cambridge University Press.