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Friday, October 11 • 3:40pm - 5:30pm
(E3) Diskin et al.: Sociophonetic variability in the /el/-/ael/ merger in Australian (Melbourne) English: Comparing wordlist and conversational data

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Sociophonetic variability in the /el/-/ael/ merger in Australian (Melbourne) English: Comparing wordlist and conversational data

A merger of /e/ and /æ/ in pre-lateral contexts is reported among Australian English (AusE) speakers in Melbourne. It appears to be completely entrenched for some speakers, but still in progress for others (Diskin et al. 2019, Loakes et al. 2014, 2017). We present an acoustic phonetic investigation of short front vowels /ɪ, e, æ/ among twelve AusE speakers in pre-alveolar stop (/t, d/) and pre-lateral contexts in a wordlist task; and sociolinguistic interviews. Findings show robust acoustic differences between /e/ and /æ/ preceding /t, d/ for all speakers and data types. However, individual differences emerge for pre-lateral /e/ and /æ/, with highly variable and gradient production patterns across speakers, and between data types, with some participants only merging in the interview and not in the wordlist; and vice versa. The findings illustrate the value of incorporating a range of data types in investigating a merger-in-progress.

Speakers
avatar for Chloé Diskin

Chloé Diskin

Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics, The University of Melbourne
Second dialect acquisition; Irish English; Australian English; language and identity; sociophonetics; discourse-pragmatic variation and change.
DL

Deborah Loakes

University of Melbourne
RB

Rosey Billington

University of Melbourne
SG

Simón Gonzalez

The Australian National University
BV

Ben Volchok

The University of Melbourne
JC

Josh Clothier

University of Melbourne


Friday October 11, 2019 3:40pm - 5:30pm
EMU Ballroom


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