This paper has examined the extent of yod-dropping and yod-coalescence across two generations of informants on Mersea Island.
It has been noted that, even though yod-dropping is more frequent in the speech of the older generation, they do not consistently use the [u] variant. The younger generation, while exhibiting categorical retention of /j/ in most environments, vary between [ju] and [u] following the coronals /n s/ and labials /m p b/. Even though aspects of data do not conform with certain predictions based on phonological theories (such as the effects of the OCP), the following overall ranking was extracted:
The data has also shown that the frequency of yod-coalescence is increasing, with the younger generation producing /§ ½/ not only word-internally but also word-initially. In addition, the effect of stress on coalescence has proved that the merger of elements in /tj/ and /dj/ is more likely to occur in unstressed syllables, while the effect of stress on yod-deletion has shown that unstressed syllables are more likely to promote yod-retention.
Due to these observations regarding coalescence, it is suggested that dialects which feature yod-dropping will experience a transitional period, during which there will be a resurgence of /j/ following /t/ and /d/ before coalescence becomes the dominant force.
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