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Academic Paper


Title: Analogy, Frequency, and Sound Change. The case of Dutch devoicing
Author: Johan De Schryver
Institution: Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel
Author: Anneke Neijt
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Author: Pol Ghesquière
Institution: Université Catholique de Louvain
Author: Mirjam Ernestus
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Linguistic Field: Phonetics
Subject Language: Dutch
Abstract: This study investigates the roles of phonetic analogy and lexical frequency in an ongoing sound change, the devoicing of fricatives in Dutch, which occurs mainly in the Netherlands and to a lesser degree in Flanders. In the experiment, Dutch and Flemish students read two variants of 98 words: the standard and a nonstandard form with the incorrect voice value of the fricative. Dutch students chose the non-standard forms with devoiced fricatives more often than Flemish students. Moreover, devoicing, though a gradual process, appeared lexically diffused, affecting first the words that are low in frequency and phonetically similar to words with voiceless fricatives.

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This article appears IN Journal of Germanic Linguistics Vol. 20, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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