Dialect change and its consequences for the Dutch dialect landscape: How much is due to the standard variety and how much is not?

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Abstract

We recorded older male speakers and younger female speakers of 86 local dialects of Dutch. Using these data, we analyze and visualize the influence of standard Dutch on apparent time changes in these dialects. Focusing for the most part on variation in the sound components, we test whether (I) dialect change is mainly the result of convergence to standard Dutch, (II) sound changes in two dialects which make them converge to standard Dutch also make them more similar, and (III) sound changes in two dialects which make them diverge from standard Dutch also make them less similar. We used
three-dimensional (first hypothesis) and five-dimensional Levenshtein distance implementations (second and third hypothesis). These implementations are a novel step in dialectometry and in the study of ongoing processes of language
change and their consequences for the dialect landscape. The findings corroborate all three hypotheses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-33
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Linguistic Geography
Volume3
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jun 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2015

Keywords

  • dialect convergence, dialect divergenvce, standard language, dialectometry

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