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Glottal variation in /t/ in non-native English speech: patterns of acquisition

Drummond, Rob (2011) Glottal variation in /t/ in non-native English speech: patterns of acquisition. English World-Wide, 32 (3). 280-308.. ISSN 0172-8865

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Abstract

This paper explores the linguistic and social factors behind the acquisition of glottal variation in English /t/ by native Polish speakers living in Manchester, UK. It investigates the speech of 40 Polish adults of varying levels of English language proficiency, who have been in Manchester for varying lengths of time, in order to establish what might be encouraging or prohibiting the acquisition of this widespread linguistic feature. Using quantitative sociolinguistic methods, factors such as level of English, length of residence, age, gender, motivation and attitude are considered in accounting for the variation in acquisition. Findings suggest that in addition to level of English and length of residence effects there is a fairly robust gender difference, with women tending to use glottal variants more frequently than men. This gender difference is explored in more detail with reference to a gender as practice type approach.

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