“I didn’t fink dat was funny”

An Intraspeaker Lifespan Analysis of Michael Caine’s Dental Fricatives

  • Jamie Brigg University of Newcastle


This paper examines the effect of middle and older age on Michael Caine’s realisation of the English dental fricatives. The results show convergence to prestige forms during middle age. Caine only exhibits TH- fronting during his older years within a familiar social setting (audience and speech styles), while TH- stopping is present in both age groups with a significant increase in his older years. It is proposed that the discrepancy between stopping and fronting exists because the two variants carry different levels of stigma in Caine’s linguistic community.