Edited by Silvia Perpiñán, David Heap, Itziri Moreno-Villamar and Adriana Soto-Corominas
[Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 11] 2017
► pp. 229–246
Chapter 11Return to Frenchville
Tracing a near-merger from legacy data
This study investigates a potential case of near-merger in legacy French data from Frenchville, Pennsylvania. With previous research having found a robust differentiation in production between French schwa and the front mid rounded vowels by the final generation of Frenchville French speakers, we hypothesize that a former near-merger of these vowels enabled a subsequent demerger. The present analysis examines schwa and the mid vowels in interview data from the penultimate generation of Frenchville speakers and finds evidence for a near-merger, as the vowels are similar but not identical in duration and spectral quality. The data also support the notion that the differentiation of these vowels by the final generation was likely an innovation, rather than the result of transmission.
- 2.Background: The status of schwa French
- 2.1A case for near-merger?
- 3.Participants and data
- 5.1Results of F3 drop
- 5.2Results for spectra of the vowels: F1
- 5.3Results for the spectra of vowels in the front-back dimension: F2-F1
- 5.4Results of durational measures