The Southland variety of New Zealand English : postvocalic /r/ and the bath vowel
Bartlett, Christopher Mark
This thesis is concerned with the study of the main regional variety of New Zealand English, the Southland variety, spoken in the far south of the country. Three main questions regarding the variety are addressed: (1) In what ways is the Southland variety distinctive? (2) What are the sources of this distinctiveness? (3) Is this distinctiveness being maintained? In order to answer these questions a two-stage social dialect survey was undertaken, using established sociolinguistic methodology. A pilot survey identified the existence of a number of phonological, lexical, and syntactic features which characterise the variety. On the basis of their salience and the wide range of variation associated with them, the following two phonological variables were selected for study in a larger survey: (1) Postvocalic /r/ (2) Phonological variation involving /a/ and /æ/ in a restricted set of words. It was found that the consonantal form of postvocalic /r/ is steadily dying out, but that a rhotic NURSE vowel is increasing in usage amongst younger speakers. However, the majority of the variety's source dialects do not possess this feature. It is hypothesised that a NURSE merger and coalescence of vowel and post-vocalic /r I has taken place as a result of the mixing of the various Scots English, English English, Irish English, and Australian English dialects spoken by the original settlers.
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Anthropology
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis
xiii, 177 leaves :ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Anthropology. "13 December 2002" -- T.p.