Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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This paper shows how a rapid taped survey is used to collect language samples from four New Zealand speech communities. It details the methodology in the study, and presents an analysis of one variable, (s) fronting. This variable is of special interest because, although phoneticians have noted that English speakers sometimes produce this sound in different ways (MacKay 1987: 98; Ladefoged and Maddieson 1996), the sociolinguistic literature does not mention (s) as a variable, apart from references to the homosexual community (Taylor 1998). The findings show that males and females in the majority New Zealand European community use different proportions of the fronted variant of (s), and that minority ethnic groups align themselves around these gender differences in various ways. The paper differs from most research on language and ethnicity in its focus on the similarities between the majority and minority groups, rather than on the differences.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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