Accent Change in Glaswegian: Final report

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Annexe 5: more evidence for [k] for /x/ in loch

The following is a transcript of a short series of recordings made by the BBC to accompany a news report on the findings of the project (Reporting Scotland, 19.7.00). The recordings were filmed on the Maryhill Road, in the heart of area from which our working-class informants were drawn.

[Young reporter with southern English accent asks several female Glaswegian speakers to read the word loch.]

clip 1: two teenage girls

Girls: loc[k] (in chorus, with giggle)

clip 2: two more teenage girls, slightly younger

Girls: It's supposed to be pronounced loch but we usually say loc[k]. (laugh)

clip 3: woman in mid-thirties

Woman: loc[k]

Reporter: now you say loc[k]

Woman: yep

Reporter: do you know it's supposed to be loch?

Woman: uh hmm. 'ch' pronounced (laugh)

Reporter: why do you pronounce it loc[k]?

Woman: (shakes head slowly) Glaswegian. It's just the way it's spoken.

It is clear from the comments of the last speaker that while she knows [x] to be the 'correct' pronunciation of /x/, it is not her pronunciation, and furthermore that she considers her pronunciation to be typical of Glasgow - the working city - and not them, i.e. 'outsiders' such as the reporter (Southern English accent), or the middle-classes, whose view and accent he is representing.

We regard this as good evidence that the use of [k] for /x/ should not be described in terms of levelling, i.e. the use of a non-local feature at the expense of a regionally-marked feature, since the speaker clearly thinks that her use of [k] is regionally marked.