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The Diffusion of /l/-Vocalization in Swiss German


Leemann, Adrian; Kolly, Marie-José; Britain, David; Werlen, Iwar; Studer-Joho, Dieter (2014). The Diffusion of /l/-Vocalization in Swiss German. Language Variation and Change, 26(2):191-218.

Abstract

Several western Swiss German dialects roughly grouped around the nation's capital Bern show /l/ > [u] vocalization in various contexts. The spatial boundaries of /l/-vocalization in Swiss German are suspected to have been expanding since being described in the Linguistic Atlas of German-Speaking Switzerland in the middle of the 20th century. The present study assesses the overall expansion of /l/-vocalization by means of a rapid anonymous survey in 20 urban regional centers situated just beyond the traditional boundaries of /l/-vocalization highlighted by the Atlas. Results show that the expansion of /l/-vocalization mainly progresses in southeasterly, southerly, and westerly directions, but with much less success to the north and northwest, where the equally influential dialectal areas of Basel and Zürich seem to exert opposing influences. Further analysis of the data indicates that somewhat differing constraint hierarchies are at work in the different places to which vocalization has diffused.

Abstract

Several western Swiss German dialects roughly grouped around the nation's capital Bern show /l/ > [u] vocalization in various contexts. The spatial boundaries of /l/-vocalization in Swiss German are suspected to have been expanding since being described in the Linguistic Atlas of German-Speaking Switzerland in the middle of the 20th century. The present study assesses the overall expansion of /l/-vocalization by means of a rapid anonymous survey in 20 urban regional centers situated just beyond the traditional boundaries of /l/-vocalization highlighted by the Atlas. Results show that the expansion of /l/-vocalization mainly progresses in southeasterly, southerly, and westerly directions, but with much less success to the north and northwest, where the equally influential dialectal areas of Basel and Zürich seem to exert opposing influences. Further analysis of the data indicates that somewhat differing constraint hierarchies are at work in the different places to which vocalization has diffused.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Comparative Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
890 Other literatures
410 Linguistics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Swiss German, l-vocalization, diffusion of linguistic features
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:30 Dec 2014 15:23
Last Modified:11 Aug 2016 12:04
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0954-3945
Additional Information:Copyright: Cambridge University Press.
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954394514000076

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