The purpose of this essay is to study the differences in the dialects and accents of Glasgow and Edinburgh, focusing on a number of vowels, on the realizations of /l/ and <wh>, and also on Scottish vocabulary. The essay is based on data from the online database the Scottish Corpus of Text and Speech.
Twelve informants from seven different recorded conversations were used for this investigation. Five of the informants were from Edinburgh and seven were from Glasgow.
The result shows no great differences in the speech of the informants from Glasgow and Edinburgh respectively regarding the pronunciation of vowels.
Concerning the use of the consonant /l/ there were some differences. The use of dark /l/ only was more common in the speech of the Glasgow speakers than the Edinburgh speakers. Five out of seven Glasgow speakers, and only one out of five Edinburgh speakers used dark /l/ only, the rest used both realizations.
In the realization of <wh> there was some variation in the speech of the informants from Glasgow versus the speech of the informants from Edinburgh. Only two out of five Edinburgh speakers used the two possible realizations, [ʍ] and [w], whereas three Edinburgh speakers and all seven Glasgow speakers used the [w] realization.
Regarding the use of the Scottish vocabulary there was no significant difference between the informants from Glasgow and Edinburgh. Two words occurred in all or nearly all conversations, wee and aye. Apart from that only a few Scottish vocabulary words were perceived and then in approximately equally many conversations with informants from both cities.
No definitive conclusion can be drawn about the dialects of Glasgow and Edinburgh based on these twelve informants. The only conclusion that can be drawn is about the speech of these particular individuals.