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Glottalisation of word-final stops in Australian English unstressed syllables

  • Joshua Penney (a1), Felicity Cox (a1) and Anita Szakay (a1)

Abstract

Glottalisation functions as a cue to coda stop voicelessness in many varieties of English, occurring most commonly for alveolar stops, although varieties differ according to the context and frequency with which glottalisation is used. In Australian English, younger speakers glottalise voiceless coda stops at much higher rates than older speakers suggesting a recent change to the variety, yet this change has only been examined in stressed syllables for stops with alveolar place of articulation. In addition, research has found that glottalisation occurs in a trading relationship with preceding vowel duration to cue coda stop voicing: younger speakers make less use of vowel duration and more use of glottalisation. This study investigates glottalisation as a cue to coda voicing in unstressed syllables, an environment in which coda voicing-related vowel durational differences are already reduced. We examine this phenomenon in two separate datasets of Australian English with reference to stops at three places of articulation to explore dialect-specific distributional patterns and to track the potential progression of change. The results suggest that glottalisation occurs in conjunction with voiceless stops at all places of articulation in the unstressed Australian English contexts examined here. The results also confirm that younger speakers employ glottalisation more than older speakers, and show that females glottalise more than males, both results supporting previous suggestions of a recent change to the variety.

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