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Title: Linking Elements in Compounds
Subtitle: Regional Variation in Speech Production and Perception
Written By: Esther Hanssen
Series Title: LOT dissertation series

Words like noot+en+kraker (‘nutcracker’) and pan+en+koek (‘pancake’) contain a linking element en in between the two parts of the compound. In Dutch, this linking en is most often homographic with the regular plural suffix –en (noot+en ‘nuts’ - noot+en+kraker ‘nutcracker’). This dissertation investigates whether the linking element en in spoken Dutch compounds is similar to the plural suffix -en. The psycholinguistic studies reported here investigate the pronunciations of the linking en and the plural suffix -en for Dutch speakers from five different regions of the Netherlands, and for Frisian-Dutch bilinguals from two regions of Friesland. Second, the studies reported here investigate whether speakers of standard Dutch and speakers from different regions of the Netherlands interpret subtle speech variants of linking en as a plural marker. This dissertation reveals clear regional pronunciation variation of the linking en in compounds for Dutch speakers. Moreover, the speech variants of Dutch linking en are most often interpreted as plural forms. This study is of interest to scholars interested in linguistics, psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics. It shows the diversity of language: Regional variation exists in the pronunciation and interpretation of linking elements in Dutch compounds. This implicates that speakers from different, although closely related linguistic backgrounds arrive at subtly different interpretations in everyday speech.

Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Psycholinguistics
Subject Language(s): Dutch
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789460930799