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The Leipzig-Jakarta list as a means to test Old English / Old Norse mutual intelligibility


Keller, Jonas (2020). The Leipzig-Jakarta list as a means to test Old English / Old Norse mutual intelligibility. NOWELE (North-Western European Language Evolution), 73(2):252-275.

Abstract

The use of basic word lists has long been common in the fields of second language acquisition and language typology. The application to the study of mutual intelligibility between closely related languages on the other hand has never gained much traction. This article will analyse the degree of mutual intelligibility between the vocabularies of Old English (Anglian) and Old Norse (Old Icelandic) with the use of the Leipzig-Jakarta List which ranks vocabulary by their resistance to borrowing. The entries were transliterated to the International Phonetic Alphabet and truncated so that only the word-roots remained. The entries were then compared using a rule-set based on phonetic deviations, the so-called Levenshtein Distance and a method derived from it called ALINE. The study finds a relatively low phonetic distance between the lists and concludes that they are overall close enough to be mutually intelligible.

Abstract

The use of basic word lists has long been common in the fields of second language acquisition and language typology. The application to the study of mutual intelligibility between closely related languages on the other hand has never gained much traction. This article will analyse the degree of mutual intelligibility between the vocabularies of Old English (Anglian) and Old Norse (Old Icelandic) with the use of the Leipzig-Jakarta List which ranks vocabulary by their resistance to borrowing. The entries were transliterated to the International Phonetic Alphabet and truncated so that only the word-roots remained. The entries were then compared using a rule-set based on phonetic deviations, the so-called Levenshtein Distance and a method derived from it called ALINE. The study finds a relatively low phonetic distance between the lists and concludes that they are overall close enough to be mutually intelligible.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Language and Linguistics
Social Sciences & Humanities > Linguistics and Language
Language:English
Date:15 October 2020
Deposited On:26 Jan 2021 13:38
Last Modified:27 Jan 2021 21:00
Publisher:Syddansk Universitetsforlag
ISSN:0108-8416
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1075/nowele.00042.kel
Related URLs:https://benjamins.com/catalog/nowele (Publisher)

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