Although consonantal variation has traditionally been studied using auditory coding, techniques now exist for measuring any kind of consonants acoustically and/or articulatorily. These methods have already been employed extensively for studying variation in many languages. Techniques and past studies using them are reviewed for rhotics, laterals, fricatives, stops, weakening and strengthening processes, and voicing. These methods are becoming well established in sociolinguistic inquiry. One of the greatest remaining challenges is to design studies that combine these methods with current sociological approaches to human interactions.


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