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Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

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Academic Paper


Title: Variation in Norwegian retroflexion
Author: Sverre Stausland Johnsen
Institution: University of Oslo
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: Norwegian Bokmål
Abstract: A phonological process in Norwegian takes morpheme-initial alveolar /t d n s/ to retroflex [ʈ ɖ ɳ ʂ] after a morpheme ending in the tap /ɾ/, a process which earlier descriptions in the literature have classified as obligatory. This paper reports on production experiments with both existing and novel words, which show that Norwegian speakers treat retroflexion of morpheme-initial /s/ as optional, and that they are more likely to apply retroflexion to a morpheme in /s-/ when the /s/ is followed by a consonant (/sC-/) than when the /s/ is followed by a vowel (/sV-/).

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This article appears IN Nordic Journal of Linguistics Vol. 35, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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