Glottalization is a well-researched variable most often noted in Great Britain and Ireland but rarely in North America. The current study examines this phenomenon in a rural region of northwestern Vermont in which the dialect is popularly thought to be dying out. Forty-seven Vermonters, aged 3-80 years, were interviewed and recorded. Glottalized tokens of /t/ were coded perceptually and classified according to position in word and phonological environment. Social factors comprised age and sex. Results revealed that, unlike some vowel features historically associated with the region, glottalization appears to be a robust feature of Vermont speech. Younger speakers, particularly the adolescents, showed the highest rate of glottalization. However, differences in the patterning of the feature in different age groups begs the question of whether the glottalization in the speech of the younger speakers is, in fact, the same feature as that heard in the oldest speakers in the study or a new, less local variant. Finally, the importance of combining accounts of linguistic behavior to allow for better interpretation of data is discussed. In this study, phonetic, historical, and sociocultural information were all utilized in the interpretation of the findings, as none presented a convincing interpretation alone.
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