Date of Award

8-1-2013

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

First Advisor

Baertsch, Karen

Abstract

This study examined the phonological realization of /v/ and /w/ among ten speakers of Bay Islands English, a variety of English spoken in a series of islands off the north coast of Honduras. Whether these sounds, distinct in Standard English, have undergone a merger or some form of interchange in this dialect and whether this merger or interchange originated from a similar phenomenon in eighteenth and nineteenth century London has caused disagreement among linguists. The data was collected in Suc-Suc Cay and Pigeon Cay and consisted of the recording of 72 words containing the target phonemes as well as a paragraph used to test the phonemes in connected speech. The data suggested that the phonemes were interchanged and also contained the appearance of the bilabial fricative [β]. When these three sounds could occur was found to be conditioned in certain environments.

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