Scottish Vowel-Length Rule

Author : Monika Pukli (author)

Publication date : 2020

Bibliographical references :

Agutter, Alex (1988a). « The not-so-Scottish vowel length rule. » In John M. Anderson & Norman MacLeod (Eds.) Edinburgh Studies of the English Language. Vol. I. Edinburg: John Donald. 120-132.

McClure, J. Derrick (1977). « Vowel duration in a Scottish accent » Journal of the International Phonetic Association 7. 10-16.

McKenna, Gordon (1988). Vowel duration in the Standard English of Scotland. M. Litt. University of Edinburgh.

Scobbie, James M., Alice E. Turk & Nigel Hewlett (1999). Morphemes, phonetics and lexical items: the case of the Scottish Vowel Length Rule. Proceedings of the 14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, San Francisco, August 1999. 1617-1620.


The questionnaire focuses on a set of morpho-phonological processes called the “Scottish Vowel Length Rule” with the aim of eliciting productions of short and long variants in different phonological environments. The selection of target words is described in detail in Pukli 2006: 133-137.

Protocol summary

Questionnaire 1 was used as part of a larger protocol from the French PAC Programme in which participants were first interviewed, then recorded with a peer, and finally were asked to read two wordlists and a text. The SVLR questionnaire was used at the end.

Questionnaire 2 was tested on one person only as it was developed at the end of the fieldwork and could not be followed up with further speakers.

Note that words in Scots were sometimes confusing for the readers as they are not used to seeing them in print.

Use 14 font size and avoid page breaks.

Development context

The questionnaires were designed during my PhD fieldwork in 2003 and benefited from the financial help of the Conseil Scientifique de l’Université Toulouse 2 (Aide à la mobilité des doctorants) as well as from the advice of Jim Scobbie (Director of the CASL Research Centre in the Speech and Hearing Sciences Division) who had been working on SVLR for a while.

The Appendix to the questionnaires shows the items that had been used to test the Scottish Vowel-Length Rule in the field (prior to 2006).

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