A real time study of contact-induced language change in Frisian relative pronouns

J.E. Dijkstra, W.J. Heeringa, E. Yilmaz, H. van den Heuvel, D. van Leeuwen, Hans Van de Velde

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeContribution to conference proceedingsScientificpeer-review


Many minority languages are subject to linguistic interferences from a more prestigious language, for example the country’s majority language. This is also the case with (West-)Frisian, spoken in the province of Fryslân in the north of the Netherlands. The current real-time study investigates the influence of Dutch on the use of Frisian relative pronouns in semi- and non-scripted speech of speakers of Frisian in a corpus of 18.5 hours of audio fragments from the regional broadcaster Omrop Fryslân. The audio fragments are retrieved from various radio programs broadcast between 1966 and 2015. Each fragment lasts approximately five minutes. The current study focuses on t-deletion in the Frisian relative pronouns dy’t ‘who/that’, dêr’t ‘where’ and wêr’t ‘where’. The data are analyzed using cumulative link mixed models to check the influence of the factors year of broadcast, speaking rate and age of the speakers on t-deletion. Results show that t-deletion occurs more often in recent broadcasts than in older ones, but speaking rate and age of the speakers are not significant factors. These outcomes demonstrate that this language change in Frisian has recently been set in motion and that it seems to follow a generational change pattern.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 2017
EditorsE. Babatsouli
Place of PublicationChania, Greece
PublisherInstitute of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech (ISMBS)
ISBN (Print)978-618-82351-1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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