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Saturday, October 12 • 3:40pm - 5:30pm
(M2) Papineau & Hall-Lew: Hooked on Celebri[ɾ]y: Intervocalic /t/ in the Speech and Song of Nina Nesbitt

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‘Hooked on Celebri[ɾ]y’: Intervocalic /t/ in the Speech and Song of Nina Nesbitt

This investigation examines the realisation of Scottish singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt’s word medial, intervocalic /t/, a variable previously identified as an index of identity in the music of British pop musicians (Trudgill 1997, Beal 2009). We examine the entirety of Nesbitt’s discography and compare these realisations to those produced in five publicly-available interviews. We find that in speech, Nesbitt employs the glottal stop variant 90.6% of the time. In her music, however, the [t] and [ɾ] variants dominate. Further testing reveals a correlation between genre of song and realisation: [t] is associated with her acoustic music, whilst [ɾ] appears in her pop and pop-folk songs. No other independent variable (internal or external) accounts for this variation. We draw on Eckert’s (2008) notion of the indexical field to argue that Nesbitt employs these variants to construct a coherent musical identity, while also appealing to a more international, industry-mainstream audience.


Brandon Papineau

The University of Edinburgh
avatar for Lauren Hall-Lew

Lauren Hall-Lew

University of Edinburgh

Saturday October 12, 2019 3:40pm - 5:30pm PDT
EMU Ballroom