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The effect of age-group and place of L1 acquisition on the realisation of Panjabi stop consonants in Bradford: An acoustic sociophonetic study


By: Barry Heselwood and Louise McChrystal

This paper describes a cross-sectional spectrographic sociophonetic study carried out on three groups of speakers, with a follow-up study on a fourth group (48 subjects in all), to investigate the possible effects of age and of place of L1 acquisition (Pakistan or UK) on the realisation of stop consonants in first-language Panjabi speakers living in the Manningham area of Bradford.

Results indicate that while no changes are evident in the realisation of voiceless and aspirated stops, the voiced stops are undergoing a process of devoicing amongst speakers below the age of about 25 who acquired Panjabi in Bradford. We suggest that the phonetics and phonology of English stops, and the vocal tract dynamics of voicing, are having a clear influence on the manner in which this change is taking place.

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