Chapter published in:Processes of Change: Studies in Late Modern and Present-Day English
Edited by Sandra Jansen and Lucia Siebers
[Studies in Language Variation 21] 2019
► pp. 227–246
The goose vowel in South African English with special reference to Coloured communities in 5 cities
This paper adds to the South African and international literature on the fronting of /u:/ in present day English. It investigates the extent to which varieties of South African English spoken by “Coloured” people participate in GOOSE fronting, which has been noted as a notable characteristic of the variety spoken by “Whites” (Lass 1995). At the same time it investigates whether there are any regional and social differences within South Africa’s Coloured communities in the cities of Cape Town, Kimberley, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and Durban. An acoustic analysis of the norms of 10 speakers per city showed that structural environment was the best predictor of goose fronting, in line with international findings. There were no consistent patterns for the regional variable of “city” or the social variables of gender and class. Overall Coloured communities show relatively lower degrees of fronting compared to the White norms.
Keywords: goose-fronting, ethnic variation, regional variation, South Africa, acoustic analysis
Published online: 13 August 2019
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