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Acoustic and articulatory characteristics of rhoticity in the North-West of England

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Publication date6/08/2023
Host publicationProceedings of the 20th International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences
EditorsRadek Skarnitzl, Jan Volin
PublisherGuarant International
Number of pages5
ISBN (electronic)9788090811423
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We present a sociophonetic, acoustic, and articulatory analysis of coda rhoticity in East Lancashire, North-West England. We analysed data from 24 participants aged 8–73 recorded at a public engagement event in Blackburn Market (598 tokens). Auditory analysis shows coda rhoticity is declining across generations, with speakers born after 1990 being mostly non-rhotic. Audible rhoticity is realised by lowered F3 and raised F2. GAMMs fitted across the vowel(+rhoticity) interval show that audibly rhotic tokens have a significantly smaller distance between F3 and F2 than audibly non-rhotic tokens in all vowel contexts. Our ultrasound analysis compares minimal pairs e.g. ‘core’ and ‘caw’. Principal Component Analysis of tongue splines shows that speakers use different tongue shapes in auditorily rhotic tokens.