Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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In Trudgill's 1983 follow-up of his 1968 urban dialect survey of Norwich, he showed that a labio-dental approximant pronunciation of /r/ which he had formerly dismissed as purely idiosyncratic, was actually early evidence of a sound change. Using this insight, the authors have taken present-day changes in New Zealand English and looked for evidence of them in an archive of recorded English spoken by New Zealanders born between the 1860s and 1890s. In this paper they demonstrate that early examples of present-day changes can be found in the speech of a few New Zealand speakers born as early as the 1860s, showing that some sound changes have their origins much further back than was ever realised. This new evidence raises the interesting question as to why some early variants should later develop into present-day features of New Zealand English and others disappear completely.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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