Fonetisk variation i virkelig tid og et nyt forsøg på stilanalyse

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

Frans Gregersen - Lecturer

  • Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics

The LANCHART project based at the University of Copenhagen includes re-recordings of informants from six previous dialectological and sociolinguistic investigations of speakers from various regions of Denmark thus disclosing language changes in real time. A pertinent problem for any study of real time change is the problem of style. How can we be certain that what we see is actually a change and not (only) an effect of style? And what is style anyway?

In the LANCHART project we have developed a coding scheme for the discourse contexts which might interact with intra-individual variation (iiv). The scheme includes classifications of recording type, activity types, macro-speech acts, speech genres and interaction structure. The aim is i.a. to disclose possible interaction effects between discourse classified in this way and phonetic variation. In the early Labovian studies, it was a fundamental tenet that phonetic style shifts correlated with changes in context. A sample of 18 recordings has been constructed which maximizes differences in informants' speaker variables, recording types and old and new recordings from the various geographical sites represented in the project. The transcripts have been coded for possible discourse contexts for intra-individual variation. Simultaneously, but independently, the interviews have been coded for 5 phonological variables: raising of [¿], retraction of [a], lowering and monophthongization of [aj], r-colouring of [¿]¿and [u] (to [a] and [o], respectively) and the raising of [e¿] to [e¿] before alveolar and velar nasals. By correlating the variation in the pronunciation of these variables with the categories of the iiv-analysis, we will be able to disclose what features of discourse co-vary with phonological processes, but perhaps more importantly, whether passages belonging to specific registers can be delineated in the course of an interview. Should such patterns of phonetic variation emerge, where we find predominant use of specific variants, then the iiv-analyses can be shown to have captured the otherwise (somewhat) elusive concept of style in the Labovian sense and we have a new instrument of style analysis which may make it possible to find comparable sections of interviews which otherwise vary considerably.


Frans Gregersen

Nicolai Pharao

18 Jun 2007

Event (Conference)

TitleInternational Congress of Language Variation in Europe 4, på Cypern, 17.-19. juni 2007

ID: 4517292