Chapter in:Broadening the Spectrum of Corpus Linguistics: New approaches to variability and change
Edited by Susanne Flach and Martin Hilpert
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 105] 2022
► pp. 69–90
Rhoticity in Southern New Zealand English
An acoustic analysis of the QuakeBox database
Though generally considered a non-rhotic variety, New Zealand English (NZE) shows some variation in terms of rhotic vowel colouring, mainly observed in southern New Zealand speakers. The current study uses an acoustic approach to a new audio-visual database, the UC Canterbury QuakeBox (Walsh et al. 2013) to account for variation in the degree of rhotic vowel colouring in southern NZE speakers. Identifying all nurse vowels in the data of eight representative speakers with interview transcripts, auditory perception, and a Praat-based acoustic analysis, rhotic vowel colouring is subsequently rated based on third formant (F3) realization. Results show that southern speakers display rhotic vowel colouring to varying degrees. A mixed-effects model and qualitative interpretation of key speakers further suggest an age-based cline of rhoticity with younger speakers converging on the non-rhotic standard, indicating that this rhotic vowel colouring in Southern speakers may be due to resistance to dialect levelling rather than ongoing differentiation.
- 1.Introduction: Rhoticity in NZE
- 2.Historical influences and status of NZE
- 3.Variation in spoken NZE regarding rhoticity
- 4.The UC QuakeBox database: Project information and general suitability as a linguistic corpus
- 5.Research questions and methodology
- 5.1Research questions
- 6.Analysis and results
- 8.Rhoticity in NZE: Conclusion and outlook
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