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English speakers from the West Country seem to glottalize their tees just like Estuary English speakers do. I can't find a word about T-glottalization in the West Country accents on the internet. I'm guessing it must be a pretty recently acquired characteristic. Am I right? Is it spreading from around London?

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T-glottalization is one of the features of the accent known as Estuary English. It was found first on the banks of the Thames at various points east of London. It has now spread more widely, so it’s not surprising to find it in the West Country as well. For more on the accent, see here.


David Crystal, writing in 1995, said

. . . the spread of the variety has certainly been noticeable in recent years. London-influenced speech can now be heard around three other estuaries -- the Humber in the north-east, the Dee in the north-west, and the Severn in the west -- at least partly because of the relatively easy rail and motorway commuting networks. With Hull, Chester, and Bristol now only just over two hours from London, the morning and evening transport routes to and from the capital carry many people who speak with an accent which shows the influence of their place of work.

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It's also a feature of some Scottish accents. – Colin Fine Jun 14 '12 at 16:15
Would it be possible to include in this answer some references to peer-reviewed material on the spreading of T-glottalization westward from around London? – user18036 Jun 14 '12 at 21:33
@ymar: Done. Not peer-reviewed in the strict sense, but 'The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language', from which the Crystal extract is taken, is widely regarded as authoritative. – Barrie England Jun 15 '12 at 6:26

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