Acoustic evidence for vowel change in New Zealand English

Catherine I. Watson, Margaret Maclagan, Jonathan Harrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study provides acoustic evidence that in the last 50 years New Zealand English (NZE) has undergone a substantial vowel shift. Two sets of data are studied: the Otago corpus, recorded in 1995, and the Mobile Unit corpus, recorded in 1948. Both corpora have male and female speakers. The corpora were labeled, accented vowels were extracted, and formant values were calculated. The results of the formant analysis from the two corpora are contrasted. We provide evidence that in NZE /i/ has centralized, /e/ and /æ/ have raised, and the diphthongs /iƏ/ and /eƏ/ have merged. We argue that /i/ changed in quality not only because of crowding in the front vowel space, but also because it would be less likely misperceived as an unaccented vowel (i.e., as Ə).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-68
Number of pages18
JournalLanguage Variation and Change
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Acoustic evidence for vowel change in New Zealand English'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this