Conservation and innovation in a traditional dialect: L-vocalization in Glaswegian

Jane Stuart-Smith, Claire Timmins, Fiona Tweedie

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Johnston (1997) suggests that, if defined in terms of phonology, Scots as a traditional dialect in Britain has a “rosy future“. Glaswegian is known to continue Scots Lvocalization in words such as ball and all. Lvocalization of a different type, similar to that found in Cockney, is one feature which has been observed to be diffusing rapidly across accents of English. This paper considers the evidence for these two distinct processes of Lvocalization in Glaswegian, drawing on empirical evidence from two corpora of Glaswegian collected in the early 1980s and late 1990s. The results from the later corpus confirm the vigorous maintenance of the Scots lvocalization, but at the same time provide clear indications of the incorporation of innovative Lvocalization. Our findings confirm that at the phonological level at least, the Urban Scots of Glaswegian youngsters is both conservative and innovative.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-87
Number of pages17
JournalEnglish World-Wide
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • Glaswegian
  • dialect conservation
  • Glasgow dialect
  • linguistic innovation
  • lvocalization
  • Scots

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