ISCA Archive TAI 2021
ISCA Archive TAI 2021

Intonational variation and change in York English

Sam Hellmuth, Ciara Farrelly

The variety of English spoken in the city of York, UK, is of sociolinguistic interest due to ‘recycling’ of traditional dialectal forms such as Definite Article Reduction (‘to t’pub’) and Past-Reference come (‘I come home late last night’) by younger (typically male) speakers; in apparent time studies based on the York English Corpus (YEC), middle-aged speakers (aged 50-70) used these forms less than older speakers (>70), so the patterns had previously appeared to be falling out of use. In this paper we first argue for the existence of a distinctive ‘Yorkshire rise-fall’ nuclear contour, which is sufficiently different in form and distribution from rise-fall contours reported for other varieties of British English that it can be characterized as a traditional (prosodic) feature of Yorkshire dialects. We then explore whether the observed patterns of variation in lexical-grammatical variables are mirrored in variation and change in use of this distinctive Yorkshire rise-fall nuclear contour, in apparent time, via qualitative analysis of data from the YEC.

doi: 10.21437/TAI.2021-39

Cite as: Hellmuth, S., Farrelly, C. (2021) Intonational variation and change in York English. Proc. 1st International Conference on Tone and Intonation (TAI), 190-194, doi: 10.21437/TAI.2021-39

  author={Sam Hellmuth and Ciara Farrelly},
  title={{Intonational variation and change in York English}},
  booktitle={Proc. 1st International Conference on Tone and Intonation (TAI)},