Author(s): Moisl HL, Maguire W, Allen W
Abstract: The newly-created Newcastle Electronic Corpus of Tyneside English (NECTE) offers an opportunity to study a recent sample of English spoken in the Tyneside region of North-East England. This paper describes an exploratory multivariate analysis of phonetic data derived from NECTE that was undertaken with the aim of generating hypotheses about phonetic variation among speakers and speaker groups in the corpus, and how this variation correlates with social factors. The discussion is in four main parts. The first part outlines exploratory multivariate analysis in general and hierarchical cluster analysis in particular, the second describes the NECTE phonetic data used in the analysis, the third carries out a hierarchical cluster analysis of that data, and the fourth interprets the cluster analysis and relates the result to existing work on Tyneside English. The interpretation of the cluster analysis result is that phonetic variation among the NECTE speakers correlates strongly with gender and to a lesser extent with socio-economic status, but a correlation with age could not be demonstrated. The conclusion, finally, indicates directions for future work.