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Yorkshire Assimilation: Exploring the Production and Perception of a Geographically Restricted Variable

Whisker-Taylor, Kate and Clark, Lynn (2019) Yorkshire Assimilation: Exploring the Production and Perception of a Geographically Restricted Variable. Journal of English Linguistics, 47 (3). pp. 221-248.

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Abstract

This paper investigates a process referred to by Wells (1982) as “Yorkshire Assimilation,” which is a process of assimilation in which voiced obstruents become fully devoiced when followed by a voiceless segment. The process is thought to occur only in Yorkshire, England. There is very little existing literature on Yorkshire Assimilation and, when it is discussed, it is described as a phonological rule, i.e., it is thought to be used categorically by those speakers who display the feature (Wells 1982:367, 148). This paper presents the first empirical account of Yorkshire Assimilation. Using both historical and contemporary speech data from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, we explore the extent to which Yorkshire Assimilation is indeed variable, how its use has changed over time, and how it is constrained by both linguistic and social factors in speech production. We also couple this production study with a small perception experiment designed to tap into the social meaning of Yorkshire Assimilation in Huddersfield.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0075424219849093
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
School/Department: School of Languages & Linguistics
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/3948

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