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Phonetic variation in Scottish Gaelic laterals

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Phonetics
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)1-17
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper is an acoustic investigation of laterals in contemporary Scottish Gaelic. Scottish Gaelic is described as having three phonemic laterals /lɣ̪ lj̪ l/, which have previously been the subject of small-scale acoustic and static palatographic work. I expand on previous acoustic studies, including static and dynamic formant measures, and consider data from the diverse contemporary Gaelic-speaking population including [1] older speakers in a Gaelic- heartland area, [2] middle-aged speakers living in Glasgow, [3] adolescent speakers in immersion education in a heartland area, [4] adolescents in immersion education in Glasgow. Results suggest overall maintenance of the triple lateral system, but with substantial variation in the production of (phonemically) palatalised laterals in particular, which some young Glaswegians do not produce. These results are discussed with reference to language change in language revitalisation contexts, language contact, and modes of acquisition in revitalisation contexts.