I’ve struggled with the phonetic realisation of /?/ in Scottish English (i.e., the vowel in words such as bit) for a long time. I keep thinking it should be some sort of [ɪ], but it’s clearly much more open than that.
It helped a bit when a person called Pete commented on John Wells’s Phonetic Blog that it ought to be transcribed as /?/ rather than /ɪ/, but it only really clicked into place this morning.
Anna (often called Bits by Phyllis and the rest of the family) picked up an orange nursery badge. I said in Danish: “Amaia, det er et badge.” Anna exclaimed: “It’s called the same as me! [Danish] /b?æd?s(j)/ – [Scottish English] /b?ts/”
I now need to test this theory, namely that Danes can accurately imitate the pronunciation of Scottish English and Scots /ɪ/ by using a Danish /æ/.
It isn’t quite what I’d call standard Scottish English. It certainly isn’t my pronunciation but it’s definitely a good representation of some of the ‘hairer’ innercity accents of the western central belt. If you say /b̥æd̥s(j)/ for Bits in Newton Mearns people will be horrified but if you use it in Easterhouse the locals won’t even notice! (Sorry, I’ll take off my posh hat now 😉 )