Lenition and T-to-R are differently salient: The representation of competing realisations of /t/ in Liverpool English dialect literature

Patrick Honeybone, Kevin Watson, Sarah Van Eyndhoven

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article investigates variation in the way that phonological dialect features are represented orthographically in a corpus of dialect literature from Liverpool English. The texts considered are examples of Contemporary Humorous Localised Dialect Literature (CHLDL). We compare what is found in these texts with the extent to which phonological dialect features are represented in corpora of spoken Liverpool English, and we show that dialect literature can subtly represent the different degrees of salience that dialect features have. We focus on two phonological features which are well established in spoken corpora: ‘Liverpool Lenition’ (in which stops, including /t/ are affricated and spirantised) and T-to-R. We show that, although both are very common in spoken Liverpool English, and both could in principle be represented orthographically, only T-to-R is robustly represented in our corpus of dialect literature. We go on to show that this makes sense: phonological theory predicts that processes with certain types of characteristics should be salient and others should not, and we show that T-to-R has the characteristics that fit with being salient, while T-lenition does not.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspectives on Northern Englishes
EditorsJoan Beal, Sylvie Hancil
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherWalter de Gruyter GmbH
Chapter5
Pages83-108
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783110450903, 9783110448740
ISBN (Print)9783110448658
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameTopics in English Linguistics [TiEL]
PublisherDe Gruyter Mouton
Volume96
ISSN (Print)1434-3452

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Lenition and T-to-R are differently salient: The representation of competing realisations of /t/ in Liverpool English dialect literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this