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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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Academic Paper


Title: Word-Final Cluster Simplification in Vimeu French: A preliminary analysis
Paper URL: http://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1137&context=pwpl
Author: Anne-José Villeneuve
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://individual.utoronto.ca/annejose/
Institution: University of Toronto
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: French
Abstract: While many variationist studies have investigated phonological aspects of North American French varieties in the last three decades, few have focused on regional varieties of European French until recently. In the present study, I examine the simplification of word-final obstruent-liquid (OL) clusters – e.g. table 'table' and autre 'other' realized as [tab] and [ot] – in Vimeu French, a region of Northern France where French is spoken alongside Picard, a regional Gallo-Roman dialect. Not only does this variety provide us with new data for European French, it also allows us to examine the influence of Picard, a language in which word-final cluster simplification is widespread (Pooley 1996). Using data from a recent Vimeu French corpus, I show that, contrary to previous descriptions of French phonology (Dell 1985), /l/ and /r/ can be deleted not only before consonants and pauses, but also in prevocalic contexts. This extension of the phonological environment in which simplification can occur also characterizes the vernacular French spoken in Roubaix, another Picard-speaking area (Pooley 1996). Differences between age groups in rate of OL simplification and in the ranking of linguistic factors also indicate that Picard may have affected the elders more than younger adults, regardless of their spoken proficiency in Picard.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: University of Pennsylvania
Publication Info: Working Papers in Linguistics 15 (2) - Selected papers from NWAV 37
URL: http://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1137&context=pwpl


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