Phonological individuation in a former Danish settlement in South Dakota, USA

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The article describes the manifestation and distribution of 15 phonological variables in a rural heritage language community in South Dakota, USA. I discuss to what extent dialect convergence has occurred in this former Danish settlement. The data sample encompasses speakers born in Northwest Jutland in Denmark, as well as speakers born in South Dakota to parents who emigrated from Northwest Jutland. The analysis shows that dialectal convergence has not occurred to any significant degree, in spite of what may be expected; speakers born in South Dakota have significantly more dialectal features in their speech than the speakers born in Denmark. The analysis also reveals a sizeable degree of inter-speaker variation within both groups, as well as a considerable variation between the variables with respect to how likely they are to be realized dialectally versus nondialectally. The results are discussed in relation to theories of shared linguistic repertoire and individuation in small speech communities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Germanic Linguistics
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)95-130
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note


    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Danish dialect, Northwest Jutish, heritage language, multi-factorial regression analysis, interspeaker variation

ID: 162186305