Variation in boundary consonant deletion among selected male and female undergraduates of University of Nigeria
Keywords:Gender; variation; consonant deletion; variationist theory; gender influence; boundary consonants
This study examines variations in boundary consonant deletions noticeable among young educated Nigerians in the articulation of /t/ boundary consonant clusters in connected speeches. Thirty male and female students in their third and final years, from the Department of English and Literary Studies in University of Nigeria, participated in this study and recordings were made of their t-deletions in selected words. All /t/ consonant deletions produced at word and morpheme boundaries in the given sentences for the study were identified and analysed. Variationist theory, which is of the view that variation is inherent to linguistic structure, was adopted as the theoretical framework, while Praat software was used for analysis. The t-test (Independent Sample Test) was further used to determine the frequency distribution of the variations in /t/ deletions between the two genders. The findings revealed that gender influences the deletion of /t/ at word boundary as the percentage of male respondents who deleted /t/ was higher than the female respondents.
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