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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Academic Paper


Title: 'The preservation of schwa in the converging phonological system of Frenchville (PA) French'
Author: ChipGerfen
Institution: 'Pennsylvania State University'
Linguistic Field: 'Phonetics; Phonology'
Abstract: The phonological system of the French of Frenchville, Pennsylvania (USA) demonstrates a dramatic case of transfer in the latest (and last) generation of bilingual French–English speakers: the mid front round vowels, [œ] and [⊘], have often been replaced by the English rhoticized schwa as found in the word sir. However, French schwa, which is arguably phonetically non-distinct from the mid front round vowels, does not participate fully in this merger. This result is unexpected given both the phonetic identity of schwa and [⊘], and the fact that our speakers are not literate in French and, as such, have no access to the differential orthographic representations manifest between schwa and the mid front round vowels. The data argue strongly that schwa is, in some sense, "real" for these speakers. Based on a phonetic analysis of the vowels under consideration, we argue that transfer between two sound systems cannot be perceived as a simple case of phonetic replacement. Instead, transfer or convergence with English must be viewed as a systemic process that preserves contrast in unexpected ways. In the case at hand, the data suggest that the traditional separation between the phonetic and phonological levels of grammar cannot be maintained as each level contributes to both provoking merger and maintaining contrast in bilingual speech.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 8, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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