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Academic Paper

Title: TH variation in Hong Kong English
Author: Jette Edwards
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: English
Abstract: The current study examines patterns of TH variation in Hong Kong English (HKE). In particular, it examines patterns in the realization of the voiceless interdental fricative /θ/ as the voiceless labiodental fricative [f],2 a process known as TH-fronting, as well as realization of the voiceless of TH as [s]. Previous research on HKE (Bolton & Kwok 1990; Hung 2000; Deterding et al.2008; Setter et al.2010) has established that TH-fronting is a variable phenomenon in HKE, with both intra- and inter-speaker variation, though no research to date has examined the social and linguistic constraints that govern this phenomenon in HKE. The current study also examines the realization of TH as [s], which has not been documented in previous research on HKE, but was found to be a variant of TH in the current study. This article thus examines the social (defined here as non-linguistic constraints such as gender, medium of instruction and proficiency) and linguistic (syllable position, linguistic environment, stress) factors which impact the realization of TH in HKE and whether these factors differ for the realization of TH as [f] or [s].


This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 23, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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