Vowel duration in the Standard English of Scotland
McKenna, Gordon E.
This thesis deals with vowel duration in the Standard English of Scotland. Chapter l describes the present-day linguistic situation in Scotland, concentrating on the differences between the vowel systems of Standard English in Scotland and those of accents of Standard English in the rest of the English-speaking world . Chapter 2 surveys previous accounts of vowel duration in the prestige accents of England and America, and from these studies attempts a classification of several of the phonological factors which influence vowel duration. Chapter 3 goes on to survey previous accounts of vowel duration in Scots dialects and Scottish Standard English, focusing on the phonological rule known as Aitken's Law, showing how this predicts several important differences in durational behaviour between vowels in Scottish accents of English and those in the accents described in chapter 2. Chapter 4 outlines an experimental study which was designed to test the validity of some of the claims made by Aitken 's Law about vowel duration in Scottish English. Chapter 5 presents the experimental results in some detail. including a statistical analysis using multivariate analysis of variance, or MAN OVA. Chapter 6 summarises the extent to which previous claims about vowel duration in Scottish Standard English can be substantiated on the basis of the results reported here, concluding that Aitken's Law applies only to a subset of the total vowel system. and that the durational behaviour of vowels in Scottish English is perhaps not so different from that of vowels in other accents of English as has previously been claimed.