Chapter published in:Language Variation - European Perspectives VI: Selected papers from the Eighth International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 8), Leipzig, May 2015
Edited by Isabelle Buchstaller and Beat Siebenhaar
[Studies in Language Variation 19] 2017
► pp. 99–112
The unruly dialect variant [a]
The case of the opening of (ɛ) in the traditional Torsby dialect
We investigate the realisation of the variable (ɛ) (as either the dialect variant [a] or the standard variant [ɛ]) in the Swedish county of Värmland, with special attention to the small rural village of Torsby. Our analysis shows that dialect variants that are infrequent in recordings made in this area in the 1940s are generally absent in data from 2011. However, the dialect variant [a] deviates from this pattern. Even though it is used infrequently in some consonantal contexts in older data, it has increased significantly over the last 70 years, both language-internally as well as in the speech community. We present an acoustic analysis of the vowel pronunciation and discuss the social meaning this feature has in contemporary Torsby.
Keywords: dialect change, dialect stability, sociophonetics, rural Sweden, vowel change, social meaning
Published online: 26 July 2017
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