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.
|Title of host publication||Perspectives on Northern Englishes|
|Editors||Joan Beal, Sylvie Hancil|
|Place of Publication||Berlin|
|Publisher||Walter de Gruyter GmbH|
|Number of pages||26|
|ISBN (Electronic)||9783110450903, 9783110448740|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
|Name||Topics in English Linguistics [TiEL]|
|Publisher||De Gruyter Mouton|
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- School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences - Personal Chair of Historical Phonology
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