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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."


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Academic Paper


Title: Phonological variation and change in the regional French of Alsace: Supralocalization, age, gender and the urban–rural dichotomy
Author: Zoë Boughton
Author: Katharine Pipe
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: French
Abstract: This article examines patterns of variation and change in the phonology of the regional French of Alsace, within an overarching framework of regional dialect levelling (Kerswill, 2003) in the French of France. Data are drawn from an original corpus gathered in Strasbourg and a small village in a rural area of the Bas-Rhin. We analyse two well-known regional features in spontaneous speech: (h), the variable realisation of initial [h], and (ʒ), the non-assimilatory devoicing of /ʒ/. We focus on the effect on the variation observed of the major extra-linguistic variables of age, gender and social class as well as urban or rural community. While the results for class and location follow expected patterns, whereby working-class and rural speakers show higher rates of traditional non-standard variants, the principal observation is the decline and, in the case of (ʒ), apparent loss of such features. We thus provide new evidence in support of supralocalization, not only in the urban context but also in the rural location. The results for gender are however less clear-cut: there is an interaction with age, class and location, and disruption of the usual pattern of female-led adoption of supralocal norms.

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This article appears IN Journal of French Language Studies Vol. 30, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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