An articulatory and acoustic phonetic study of selected consonants in accents of Scottish English
This thesis begins by reviewing the literature pertaining to Scottish English pronunciation which has been produced since the late-eighteenth century. The world of authors, such as Sylvester Douglas, Melville Bell, James Murray, James Wilson, William Grant, Anne McAllister, Jack Aitken and David Abercrombie, is reviewed and its contribution to our understanding of the nature of Scottish English pronunciation is assessed. The methodology and findings of the present study are then presented. The data is gathered from speakers from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen and it centres around their pronunciation of /r, l, w/ and /m/ and their voice onset times for voiceless plosives. Certain discrepancies are noted between the description of these features in the existing literature and the realisations produced by the speakers informing the present study. The articulatory nature and acoustic characteristics of all allophones of /r, l, w/ and /m/ are described. Moreover, their incidence in all phonotactic contexts is set out. Hitherto unattested realisations (such as [f] for /r/, and [w] for 1/1) are noted and discussed at length. The lexical incidence of /w/ and /m/ is investigated and a sound change is observed. Voice onset times of /p, t/ and /k/ are measured in #CV and #CCV position. Statistical analysis finds no demographic difference in VOT values, but consistent significant differences emerge between the phonemic environments. Finally, it is argued that the gulf that exists between the literature pertaining to Scottish English pronunciation and the results of the present study is indicative of the state of our knowledge of the phonetic characteristics of most English accents. Consequently, a case is made for the renaissance of phonetic investigation into all English accents.