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LINGUIST List 17.282

Fri Jan 27 2006

Diss: Phonology: Schaeffler: 'Phonological Quantity...'

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        1.    Felix Schaeffler, Phonological Quantity in Swedish Dialects: Typological aspects, phonetic variation and diachronic change

Message 1: Phonological Quantity in Swedish Dialects: Typological aspects, phonetic variation and diachronic change
Date: 27-Jan-2006
From: Felix Schaeffler <felix.schaefflergmail.com>
Subject: Phonological Quantity in Swedish Dialects: Typological aspects, phonetic variation and diachronic change

Institution: UmeƄ University
Program: Philosophy and Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2005

Author: Felix Schaeffler

Dissertation Title: Phonological Quantity in Swedish Dialects: Typological aspects, phonetic variation and diachronic change

Dissertation URL: http://www.diva-portal.org/umu/theses/abstract.xsql?dbid=587

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology

Subject Language(s): Swedish (swe)

Dissertation Director:
Anders Eriksson
Eva Strangert

Dissertation Abstract:

This study investigates the realisation of phonological quantity in the
dialects of Modern Swedish, based on a corpus containing recordings from 86
locations in Sweden and the Swedish speaking parts of Finland. The corpus
was recorded as part of the national SweDia project.

The study is explorative in character. Quantity structures in Swedish
dialects and their geographical distribution, as described in the
dialectological literature, are compared to the results of a data-driven
categorisation (cluster analysis). The results reveal an overall good
correspondence of the data driven and the traditional categorisation,
although with some deviations in the detail.

The study is divided into two parts. The first part lays the foundation for
the data-driven categorisation, which is then described in the second part.
First, the phonology and phonetics of quantity in Swedish are described in
terms of durational distinctions and vocalic quality differences that
typically accompany the durational differences. Preaspiration, which
appears to be a normative feature in some dialects, is covered as well. An
overview of the historical development of the Swedish quantity system is
provided, with special emphasis on a phonological interpretation of
quantity changes. Thereafter, dialectological evidence is combined with
phonological and typological considerations to develop a categorisation of
Swedish dialects.

The second part explains the methodology of cluster analysis and applies
this method to vowel and consonant durations from one contrastive word
pair, in order to obtain an alternative dialect categorisation. Analyses of
vowel quality and preaspiration are performed in addition to the durational
analyses. Hypotheses derived from the cluster analysis are then tested on
one additional word pair recorded in 75 locations and on three additional
word pairs recorded in four locations.

The general pattern emerging from the cluster analysis is a categorisation
of the dialects into three main types, a Finland-Swedish, a Northern and a
Southern type. This categorisation shows a good geographical agreement with
the categorisation that is derived from the analysis of the dialectological
literature. Therefore, the durational patterns of the three types are
interpreted as reflections of three different phonological systems: 4-way
systems with vocalic and consonantal quantity, 3-way systems with vocalic
quantity and with consonantal quantity only after short vowels, and 2-way
systems with complementary quantity. From the historical perspective, the
4-way system constitutes the most conservative and the 2-way system the
most recently developed system.

Finally, it is argued that the historical development is one of the factors
behind occasional mismatches between the data-driven and the
dialectological categorisation. Data from one of the dialects, which has
recently abandoned a 4-way system but has obviously retained the durational
properties of the older system, is used as an example to illustrate this
historical hypothesis.

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