Edited by Juan-Andrés Villena-Ponsoda, Francisco Díaz-Montesinos, Antonio-Manuel Ávila-Muñoz and Matilde Vida-Castro
[Studies in Language Variation 22] 2019
► pp. 86–101
Chapter 5. Language change caught in the act
A case study of Frisian relative pronouns
This study investigates language change in Frisian relative pronouns in a corpus of Frisian radio broadcasts (1966–2015). In spite of the limitations of this corpus, we were able to catch language change in the act. The analyses show that until the 1980s the younger speakers in these broadcasts lead the rise of t-full relative pronouns, a change that was first observed in literature at the end of the 19th century. From the 1980s onwards the new younger generation reversed this change and increasingly started using the t-less relative pronouns. Additionally, the increase of t-less forms occurred mostly in non-scripted, spontaneous speech. It does not seem to play a role whether the speaker is a presenter or an interviewee/guest.