This paper will investigate the extent of yod-dropping and yod-coalescence on the East Anglian island of Mersea.
Section one will briefly outline the history of the island and recent changes in its socio-economic development, while section two will discuss two previously conducted island studies which have observed language change and variation. This will provide possible explanations why Mersea is growing more susceptible to the outside influences which prompt variation.
S1 - The island community S2 - Previous island studies
The variable under investigation (ju) can be realised as [ju], [u] or, when followed by the coronals [t] and [d], [§] and [˝] respectively. Section three will discuss this phonological variable with respect to its status and how it is treated in certain phonological environments, as well as giving a historical perspective on this feature’s development.
S3 - Linguistic variables
Section four expands on the brief contextual analysis of the previous section by presenting results and conclusions from three previous studies. Two studies from East Anglia will be cited providing an insight into which phonological environments are more likely to induce yod-deletion, while the effects of main stress will be discussed with respect to data from Fiji.
S4 - Previous yod studies
Subsequent sections will focus upon the survey of Mersea Island. Section five outlines the methodology adopted for this study and is followed in section six by the analysis of data collected from equal representations of older and younger males and females. These statistics will show how yod-dropping is on the decline throughout the younger generation of islanders while cases of yod-coalescence are increasing. A ranking of consonants demonstrating which preceding environments promote or inhibit yod-dropping will be extracted from the data and compared to those constructed by previous studies. Also, the effect of stress on /ju/-loss will be discussed in relation to the collected data.
S5 - Methodology S6 - Data analysis
Generalisations drawn from the data in section six will provide the basis for phonological analysis in section seven. This section will examine the status of /ju/ regarding syllable structure and investigate the claims that yod-retention is more common in unstressed syllables and that, while coronals are more likely to encourage yod-deletion, dorsals are not.
S7 - Phonological analysis