The sociophonology and sociophonetics of Scottish Standard English (r)

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This paper inspects the variability of (r) in non-linking coda positions (e.g. in the words <i>car</i>, <i>far</i>, and <i>art</i>) in Scottish Standard English (SSE), accepting the three variants [&#638;], [&#633;], and &#216;. Interviews with 27 middle-class speakers were conducted, eliciting three styles (careful speech, reading passage, and word list). Following a discussion of previous research on (r) in SSE and an explanation of the conditional hierarchical logistic regression model applied to the data, results are presented with a focus on social and stylistic factors. It appears that female speakers are more likely to vocalise /r/, and older speakers are more likely to use the more traditional tapped variant [&#638;]. Thus, quasi-phonological variation correlates with gender, and phonetic variation correlates with age. Moreover, contact with Southern Standard British English (SSBE) also increases the rates of (r)-vocalisation. In word list style, all speakers are less likely to vocalise (r), but there are significant differences between social groups in this respect: especially young men&#8217;s accents are almost categorically rhotic in word list style.


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