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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: More on (distinctive!) vowel length in historical French
Author: Randall S. Gess
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Carleton University
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: French
Abstract: While rejecting a claim for the disappearance of distinctive vowel length in historical French as ‘counterfactual’ (Picard, 2004: 3), Picard's own arguments in support of the existence of vowel length do not rise to the level of fact. Picard fails to differentiate between derived versus underlying (hence distinctive) features. Further, his assumptions regarding vowel length from the Middle French period on are ill founded. Regarding the truly minor vocalic contrasts that do exist in Canadian French mid and low vowels, Picard makes several unmotivated assumptions and unsupported assertions that preclude consideration of other, plausible scenarios for their existence. Minor vocalic contrasts such as these, with little to no functional load, can be modeled in phonological grammars without an unnecessary proliferation of phonological categories.


This article appears IN Journal of French Language Studies Vol. 18, Issue 2.

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