Article published in:Researching Northern English
Edited by Raymond Hickey
[Varieties of English Around the World G55] 2015
► pp. 293–316
This chapter provides an overview of Mancunian English, focusing on consonantal changes in progress in the dialect. It begins with a description of the most distinctive features of Manchester’s vowels and consonants. This is followed by a quantitative exploration of the linguistic and social constraints on variation in T-glottalling, TH-fronting, and H-dropping, on the basis of a sample of 86 speakers stratified by age, gender and socio-economic status. H-dropping is a case of stable sociolinguistic variation, with working-class males showing the highest rates; there is a strong effect of grammatical category, with preceding and following segments also playing a role. T-glottalling in word-final position is a change nearing completion, initially led by working class males, with the youngest generation of Mancunians in all social groups showing high and comparable rates. Intervocalic T-glottalling is less advanced and shows more social differentiation; working class males are still leading it, but other social groups are catching up in the youngest generation. Both T-glottalling and TH-fronting appear to be male-led changes in Manchester. Internal factors, such as position in the word, following segment, and voicing, are shown to play a role as well.
Keywords: data collection, H-dropping, location and extent of Manchester, T-glottalling, THfronting
Published online: 16 December 2015
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