Allomorphic Variation in the English Article System
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I am investigating variable allomorphy in the English article system among adolescents in London, where I have found high levels of lack of allomorphy among some groups.
For example, 'a apple' is quite frequent as is 'the apple' where 'the' ends in a schwa as opposed to a high front vowel. This would seem to be an innovation among young people here as it does not appear to be present in the speech of older Londoners but I am interested to know of other varieties of English (both in the UK and around the anglophone world) where this lack of allomorphy occurs. I am aware of work on the distribution of 'the' before vowels in NZE.
References to any literature on this feature would also be appreciated. A summary of responses will be posted.
Dept of Modern Languages
Queen Mary College, University of London
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