Who pronounces the words ‘fool’ and ‘full’ the same?

Previous findings

Hughes et al. propose that, given its intermediate location between the South West and South East, Southampton features an accent with very distinctive southern qualities; this is expressed by, amongst other things, a neutralisation of vowels preceding the consonant /l/ (2012: 90). This leads to words like fool, full and fall all possessing the same vowel and therefore being homophonous in this accent.

Our findings

Contrary to Hughes et al. (2012), none of our seven respondents from Southampton pronounced these words the same, but more data would be needed for reliable results. Homophony between these words is slightly more frequent in the South than the North, however (13% compared to just 3%). The accents of Northern Ireland and Scotland differ greatly to those throughout England, with fool-full homophony a frequent feature in the speech of these parts (63% and 55%, respectively).