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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Title: The Vowel Space Paradox
Subtitle: A Sociophonetic Study on Dutch.
Written By: Sander Van der Harst
Series Title: LOT dissertation series
Description:

In both phonetics and sociolinguistics, it has been widely observed that
speech style is situation dependent. Both fields have studied this topic
autonomously. When the results of sociolinguistic studies and phonetic
studies on stylistic vowel variation are combined, a paradox (referred to as
‘the Vowel Space Paradox) arises. On the one hand, phonetic studies have
found that more informal speech yields a smaller vowel space in comparison
with formal speech, i.e. vowels in the vowel space are reduced in more
informal speech, as compared to their realization in formal speech. On the
other hand, sociolinguistic studies have repeatedly shown that some vowels
show more sociolinguistically conditioned variation in less formal speech.
Thus, individual vowels can cover a larger area in this smaller vowel space,
as compared to these vowels in formal speech. At the same time, it has been
shown that in more informal speech contrasts between vowels remain largely
intact, despite the smaller overall vowel space and the larger individual vowel
spaces. The current dissertation explains and solves this paradox by
investigating the sociogeographic variation in read and spontaneous speech
of speakers of Standard Dutch. In addition to explaining the paradox, this
study gives experimentally based recommendations on methodological
issues as formant measurements,optimal temporal representations and
normalization of vowels. Therefore, this dissertation is of interest to anyone
who studies vowel variation. Finally, it offers a description of sociogeographic
variation in the pronunciation of Standard Dutch vowels.

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
Sociolinguistics
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
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Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789460930560