Yod deletion in Fiji English: Phonological shibboleth or L2 English?

Jan Tent*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    It is not difficult to find grammatical and lexical markers of Fiji English. But are there any phonological features that identify an individual as a speaker of this regional variety of English? For the vast majority of Fiji Islanders, English is their second (or third) language, and their accents clearly identify their linguistic background (e.g., indigenous Fijian or Indo-Fijian). However, one pronunciation feature seems to be shared by a vast majority of speakers of English in Fiji: the deletion of yod in non-primary stressed /Cju/ syllables. This article considers variation in yod pronunciation according to ethnicity, age, gender, and education and examines whether yod deletion is a phonological shibboleth of Fiji English or merely a feature of L2 English.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)161-191
    Number of pages31
    JournalLanguage Variation and Change
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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