We are very happy to announce the next talk in the Phonology Colloquium, which will take place on Wednesday, June 19, 4 – 6 pm in IG 4.301.
Christian Uffmann (Universität Düsseldorf) will present „Caught a cool call? Phonetic Change, Splits, and Mergers in Southern England“.
This talk has three aims. Firstly, it reports a series of phonological changes in London English, triggered by a phonetic change. In London, as in many other varieties of English, /u:/ undergoes a gradient process of fronting – but not before tautosyllabic /l/. Thus the vowel in cool is phonetically back while the vowel in coop is phonetically front. This has led to a merger of the cool and call sets. In a subsequent step, we are witnessing a phonemic split where the cool-call set is for some speakers realised differently from the caught set (while for more conservative speakers all three are the same).
Secondly, I am going to propose a phonological analysis of these changes that can also explain why these changes occurred in London. I will show that the merger is a consequence of the properties of the phonological system of London English, while the split is motivated by other current changes to that system.
You are cordially invited!