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Innovations segmentales et suprasegmentales dans le NW Yorshire : implications pour l'étude du changement accentuel dans l'anglais des îles britanniques

Abstract : A number of phonetic and phonological changes have lately been observed in most geographical varieties of British English. This phenomenon seems to have been accelerated by increasing social and geographical mobility in the past decades. Based on a corpus mainly consisting of several hours of spontaneous interaction between a number of native NW Yorkshire speakers divided into different age groups, this research identifies and analyses several segmental and suprasegmental innovations observed in apparent time in a set of accents associated with a circumscribed geographical area. This thesis discusses the motivation behind some of these changes and addresses the question of whether the same factors and principles operate in suprasegmental change – especially in the fields of intonation and voice quality – as in the diffusion of non-traditional segmental phonetic/phonological features. It also explores the nature and status of some diffusing intonational patterns, such as the innovative use of rising tones in association with statements. The semantic/pragmatic value of these patterns is taken into consideration as well as that of a number of articulatory and phonatory adjustments characterising adolescent speech. Throughout this study, it is argued that an analytical model simultaneously taking into account several dimensions of diachronic and synchronic variation is necessary to provide an adequate account of accent change. Some of the findings have been examined as to their possible application to other research domains and to the field of EFL teaching.
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Stephan Wilhelm. Innovations segmentales et suprasegmentales dans le NW Yorshire : implications pour l'étude du changement accentuel dans l'anglais des îles britanniques. Linguistique. Université de Bourgogne, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011DIJOL011⟩. ⟨tel-00665606⟩

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