Variability in the use of weak forms of prepositions
This study investigated the influence of phonological environment on variability in the production of the weak forms of four prepositions by advanced Brazilian speakers of English. Results of a VARBRUL analysis indicated that four phonological factors were exerting a significant effect: (a) the preposition itself; (b) whether or not there was a preceding syllable in the same intonation group; (c) the initial segment of the following word; (d) the metrical status of the following syllable. The relative amount of output by the speaker during the 30-minute recording also proved to have a significant effect. Since none of these factors appeared to be exerting a particularly powerful effect on its own, there may be some psycholinguistic factors also operating.