"I sound so posh compared to you lot". Phonological variation and change in the Surrey accent
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This thesis is a sociolinguistic study focusing on the accent spoken in Surrey. It has investigated five phonological variables: CURE-lowering, L-vocalisation, R-fronting, Yod-coalescence and upspeak. While the first four variables are found at a segmental level, the latter is found at a suprasegmental level. The variables have been investigated in relation to the extra- linguistic variables age and gender. The informants included in the study are four young females, four young males, four older females and four older males. The data consists of interviews and reading tasks. Furthermore, the study has investigated the changes in relation to the process of dialect levelling in Britain. The results are fairly conclusive in relation to age. They show that the younger speakers are leading the changes It was expected that females would be leading the changes. However, this expectation was not met. Thus, the results are inconclusive in relation to gender. Furthermore, the results in relation to dialect levelling show that Surrey is taking part in the dialect levelling process.