Hoy, la Dra. Gavaldà presenta la comunicación“Individual variation in allophonic processes as a forensic parameter: a study of Standard Southern British English” en 39th AEDEAN Conference organizada por el Departamento de Lenguas Modernas y Estudios Vascos Asociación Española de Estudios Anglo – Norteamericanos los días 11- 13 de noviembre de 2015 en la Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao.
According to many sociolinguistic studies, there is some inter-speaker variation that cannot be explained by differences in social factors such as age, socioeconomic class, geographical origin and gender or differences in contextual style. These inter-speaker differences would be more related to how an individual uses their language and how they express their identity in relation to their speech community (Johnstone 1996). This view is particularly relevant for the field of forensic linguistics, in that it supports the premise that speakers show a particular combination of linguistic patterns that characterise their idiolectal style (Turell 2010). The study of phonological variation with the aim to determine its idiosyncratic potential has not been the focus of much research in the field of forensic phonetics in comparison with physiological and articulatory parameters. Yet, the few studies that have actually centred on variables related to phonological variation demonstrate that such variation is the result of idiosyncratic selections, and therefore, can have much forensic relevance (Moosmüller 1997; de Jong et al. 2007; Loakes and McDougall 2010). The present research builds on these studies and analyses three allophonic processes affecting /t/ in SSBE which are reported in the literature to show variation -namely glottaling, tapping and frication- with the aim to determine whether the degree of variation that they exhibit can function as a forensic parameter to discriminate between different speakers in forensic contexts. Nine categorical variables related to the processes of glottalling, tapping and frication of /t/ were formulated considering different linguistic contexts (i.e. depending on whether the words were lexical or grammatical and also on their frequency of occurrence) and compared by means of the Chi-square test. The corpus of study contains data on ten SSBE speakers (five male and five female) with similar sociolinguistic characteristics. As a result of a real time study, spontaneous data for each speaker in two different measurement times with a time lapse between 10 to 25 years were analysed. The particular characteristics of the data allow us to analyse inter-speaker variation as well as intra-speaker variation over a considerable difference in time. Results show that the three processes under analysis seem to be quite speaker-specific, since they generally show few significant differences when comparing samples from the same speaker and greater significant differences when comparing samples produced by different speakers. Moreover, as expected, the processes exhibit specificity regarding gender and linguistic context. Thus, the phonological processes of /t/ that have been analysed may have idiosyncratic value when considering the gender of the speakers and the linguistic context in which they occur. Despite being a small contribution to the study of individual variation for forensic purposes due to the limitation of the data set, the findings of this study support recent studies that have demonstrated that sociolinguistic variation is very speaker-specific and therefore provides important information that can be very useful in a forensic context.