Volume 37, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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This paper analyzes the speech of 27 Trinidadian professionals (lawyers, lecturers, and politicians), who are typical speakers of Standard Trinidadian English in formal contexts, where traditionally Standard English is targeted. We investigate phonetic variation in Trinidadian English speech with regard to the varying integration of Creole features. The paper presents the results of an acoustic study of 10 vowels and an auditory analysis of three consonantal variables, using data from the Trinidad and Tobago component of the International Corpus of English.

The analysis shows that exonormative influences do not play a role. Individual Trinidadian Creole features are integrated into standard speech (voiced TH-stopping, partial overlap of -, partial overlap of -) and some realizations are identical in both codes ( and ), while others are avoided (voiceless TH-stopping, the realization of with as a monophthong with a velar nasal, the - merger, and the realization of as [ɔʊ]). These results from Trinidad confirm the validity of Irvine’s (20042008) model of load-bearing and non load-bearing variables for the distinction between English and Creole. The conclusion highlights methodological differences to Irvine’s study and discusses an extended conceptualization of Standard English that incorporates variation along the dimension of exo- versus endonormativity.


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