Joseph Salmons's research while affiliated with University of Wisconsin–Madison and other places

Publications (99)

Article
In the last 35 years, ‘reallocation’ has come to be widely used to describe how structural linguistic features in contact settings may remain as part of a new language variety and take on new functions as sociolinguistic variables rather than be lost over time, as is typically expected in koineization contexts. Classic examples involve originally r...
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This book introduces a new and still emerging theoretical framework for understanding language shift, and presents several case studies of minority language communities using this approach. To date, approaches to language shift have typically relied on explaining the process through descriptive sociolinguistic models, i.e., how the community first...
Chapter
This book introduces a new and still emerging theoretical framework for understanding language shift, and presents several case studies of minority language communities using this approach. To date, approaches to language shift have typically relied on explaining the process through descriptive sociolinguistic models, i.e., how the community first...
Chapter
This book introduces a new and still emerging theoretical framework for understanding language shift, and presents several case studies of minority language communities using this approach. To date, approaches to language shift have typically relied on explaining the process through descriptive sociolinguistic models, i.e., how the community first...
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This volume is an up-to-date history of phonology from the earliest known examples of phonological thinking through the rise of phonology as a field in the 20th century and up to the present time. The volume is divided into five parts. Part I, Early insights in phonology, begins with writing systems and has chapters devoted to the great ancient and...
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“Structured heterogeneity”, a founding concept of variationist sociolinguistics, puts focus on the ordered social differentiation in language. We extend the notion of structured heterogeneity to formal phonological structure, i.e., representations based on contrasts, with implications for phonetic implementation. Phonology establishes parameters fo...
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This paper provides a first picture of discourse marking in American Norwegian, drawing on word order data and native speaker judgments. Like many others since Salmons (1990), we see convergence between the systems of bilinguals, increasing similarities at the expense of differences. Matras (1988) and Fuller (2001) argue that more ‘pragmatically de...
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Not only can monolingual histories mask multilingual practices, but writing languages out of history happens very differently even in the same time and place. We examine two cases in one historical setting, an Indigenous language and an immigrant language in Wisconsin (U.S.), Menominee and German. The widespread view of the United States today as a...
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Cambridge Core - European Language and Linguistics - The Cambridge Handbook of Germanic Linguistics - edited by Michael T. Putnam
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This paper is a historical sociolinguistic study of spoken Scandinavian-American English, its representation over time, and its relationship with contemporary regional speech. We look at four features: 1) ‘stopping’ of interdental fricatives, [t, d] for/θ, ð/, 2) /dʒ/ realized as [j] in popular representations, 3) features borrowed from other immig...
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English in the German-Speaking World - edited by Raymond Hickey December 2019
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Typical words in some East Asian languages, including Chinese, have reduced historically from disyllabic (CV·CV(C)) to monosyllabic (C(C)V(C)) and then open monosyllables (CV). More recently, in some of those languages, many monosyllabic CV forms again appear as disyllabic (CV·CV). The former developments result from a variety of apparently unconne...
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This note places Rolf Bremmer’s views on a possible ‘Anglo-Frisian’ branch of West Germanic in the context of theoretical discussions about subgrouping, and in this way provides further underpinning for Bremmer’s position. The key test for subgrouping as defined since Leskien 1876 has been synapomorphy, namely shared innovations unlikely to have ar...
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This paper identifies two difficulties with treatments of derivation in Algonquian languages. In traditional approaches to grammar, in which the morpheme is seen as a unitary entity, morphemes are understood as minimal units of meaning and/or function. Definitions share an appeal to the morpheme’s indivisibility. In the Algonquianist literature, in...
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Audio recordings of English are available from the first half of the twentieth century and thus complement the written data sources for the recent history of the language. This book is the first to bring together a team of globally recognised scholars to document and analyse these early recordings in a single volume. Looking at examples of regional...
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Aside from work on grammaticalization and related research, previous approaches to lexical-semantic change typically focus on taxonomies of products of change but do not consider the impetus or process for changes nor how to capture multiple semantic changed. This article undertakes case studies of dope, hot dog, and tweak, taking definitions from...
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We report on work with German-English bilinguals, heritage speakers of German, and their licensing of parasitic gaps (a type of multiple gap construction) in English-to-German translation tasks. English allows such constructions variably, while European German does not. While some recent work reports that some heritage speakers have difficulty lice...
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Distinctive regional varieties of English have only recently emerged in parts of North America, including Wisconsin, where differences appear to be increasing today. We present an experiment in which listeners heard two short samples each from three Wisconsin regions and three other dialect areas. For each area, one sample was recorded pre-1970 and...
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Emonds & Faarlund judge subgrouping by problematic criteria and do not actually employ their stated criteria, while those criteria in fact show English to be West Germanic.
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Research treats divergences between monolingual and heritage grammars in terms of performance—‘L1 attrition,’ e.g., lexical retrieval—or competence—‘incomplete acquisition’, e.g., lack of overt tense markers (e.g., Polinsky, 1995; Sorace, 2004; Montrul, 2008; Schmid, 2010). One classic difference between monolingual and Heritage German is reduction...
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From 1815 to 1914, an estimated 5.5 million German speakers came to the United States, settling especially in the Midwest. While popular culture tends to portray “German Americans” as relatively homogenous, they came from areas stretching from present day Belgium, France, and Switzerland through central and eastern Europe—and later from as far east...
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This book presents a comprehensive and critical overview of historical phonology as it stands today. Research from every part of the field is examined from a variety of theoretical perspectives and drawing on data from a wide range of languages. The book begins by considering key current research questions, the early history of the field, and the s...
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Linguists in the United States are acutely aware of the need to engage the public about their work in new and better ways. We describe here our effort to take up that challenge in Wisconsin by building a set of outreach projects that connect with communities throughout the state and that focus on issues of importance to particular audiences. Throug...
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This paper reports initial findings on the apparent loss of passive voice constructions in Moundridge Schweitzer German, a moribund enclave dialect spoken in South Central Kansas. The dialect once had three agent-suppressing constructions; today speakers produce only an impersonal construction but marginally recognize one passive construction in co...
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This paper explores transfer of parasitic gap (p-gap) constructions from English into German by heritage speakers in Wisconsin. Kathol (2001) argues that German lacks ‘true’ p-gap constructions compared to English. Engdahl (1983:73/2001) introduces an accessibility hierarchy of domains in which p-gaps are accepted: (1) Engdahl’s accessibility hiera...
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Wisconsin is one of the most linguistically rich places in North America. It has the greatest diversity of American Indian languages east of the Mississippi, including Ojibwe and Menominee from the Algonquian language family, Ho-Chunk from the Siouan family, and Oneida from the Iroquoian family. French place names dot the state’s map. German, Norwe...
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Notions of constant rates of language change, whether relative or absolute, are widespread but controversial. Lieberman et al. (2007: 713) posit a frequency-based principle for verb regularization, tested against English historical data: “a verb that is 100 times less frequent regularizes 10 times as fast”. We present similar data from German, a cl...
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For purposes of professional advancement in college and university departments, academics are required to engage in research, teaching, and service. Researchers often find it easier to segregate their research from teaching and those of us at certain kinds of institutions may neglect service because of its perceived diminished value compared in par...
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This paper follows on recent work (Iverson & Salmons 2004, 2007; Kiparsky 2005, 2006) seeking to resolve Kock's 1888 paradox intro-duced in his celebrated “period theory” of Old Norse i-umlaut. The basic finding is this: In paradigms where a phonological innovation has been rendered opaque by the operation of other sound changes, restructuring of t...
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People living in the United States but unable to speak English are often portrayed as "marginal" and "isolated"-socially, economically, and geographically. Such narratives present the learning of English as central to "becoming American" and widely claim that earlier immigrants quickly acquired English. This paper counters such stereotypes. Wilkers...
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In the 19th and 20th centuries, eastern Wisconsin went from being heavily German speaking to almost entirely English speaking. The largest city, Milwaukee, is claimed to have experienced language shift more rapidly than the state's rural German communities. We examine this apparent asymmetry, comparing evidence for language shift in urban Milwaukee...
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When viewing language and dialect contact through the lens of the social settings of variation and acquisition, it becomes apparent that the types and degrees of conservatism in colonial dialects of German are tightly tied to the varieties learned and the patterns of acquisition in the community. Working within the framework of recent theories on s...
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This acoustic study examines sound (vowel) change in apparent time across three successive generations of 123 adult female speakers ranging in age from 20 to 65 years old, representing three regional varieties of American English, typical of western North Carolina, central Ohio and southeastern Wisconsin. A set of acoustic measures characterized th...
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This study focuses on acoustic characteristics of vowels in the regional variety of Southern American English spoken in western North Carolina. It examines the cross-generational pattern of positional vowel changes with special reference to vowel-inherent spectral change. 140 speakers, males and females, ranging in age from 8-year-old children to a...
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To investigate regional dialect variation in the vowel systems of typically developing 8- to 12-year-old children. Thirteen vowels in isolated h_d words were produced by 94 children and 93 adults (males and females). All participants spoke American English and were born and raised in 1 of 3 distinct dialect regions in the United States: western Nor...
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This study examines the acquisition of the American English vowel system by children who grew up in one of the three distinct dialect areas in the United States: western North Carolina, central Ohio, and southeastern Wisconsin. Of interest is the extent to which children acquire dialect-specific vowel dispersion patterns and dynamic formant movemen...
Chapter
In perhaps one fiftieth of the United States there are linguistic substrata. These are formed by the French in parts of northern New England and Louisiana, the Spanish of the Southwest, the small German colonies in Pennsylvania, and the negroes in some districts in the Southeast. Elsewhere English has no substratum in the United States. It is true...
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Nonlinguists prove surprisingly good at recognizing dialects, even as dialects rapidly evolve. During the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's speech was intensely discussed among linguists, the media, and laypeople. Though Palin is from Alaska, her speech was often identified with the Upper Midwest....
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The understanding of sociolinguistic variation is growing rapidly, but basic gaps still remain. Whether some languages or dialects are spoken faster or slower than others constitutes such a gap. Speech tempo is interconnected with social, physical and psychological markings of speech. This study examines regional variation in articulation rate and...
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This article documents the developing awareness of and positive attitudes toward regional English used in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin and also exemplifies some key regional markers in each variety. Findings demonstrate how this awareness and affinity has taken shape through historical processes. These processes have affected the struct...
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One myth about language and immigration in North America is that nineteenth-century immigrants typically became bilingual almost immediately after arriving, yet little systematic data has been presented for this view. We present quantitative and qualitative evidence about Germans in Wisconsin, where, into the twentieth century, many immigrants and...
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The literature on post-vocalic voicing contrasts indicates that no single acoustic characteristic or perceptual cue captures the phonological distinction [e.g., Nittrouer 2004]. Previous perceptual studies examined such acoustic characteristics as vowel duration, percent and duration of closure voicing, formant, and F0 transitions. Detailed acousti...
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The consonantism which resulted from the Germanic consonant shift has long been regarded as a defining characteristic of the family, often seen as signaling the beginning of Germanic as a separate branch of Indo-European. We argue that the crucial moment in the origin of the Germanic obstruent system lies not in the erste Lautverschiebung per se, h...
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The article reports on an acoustic investigation into the duration of five American English vowels, those found in hid, head, had, hayed, and hide. We compare duration across three major dialect areas: the Inland North, Midlands, and South. The results show systematic differences across all vowels studied, with the longest durations in the South an...
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Laryngeal realism (Honeybone 2005) holds that thoroughly voiced stops in a language like Dutch will be represented phonologically with the feature [voice], leaving the voiceless unaspirated stops laryngeally neutral, whereas the typically aspirated stops of a language like German are marked with the feature [spread glottis], rendering the passively...
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Most of the comparative sociophonetic studies of regional dialect variation have focused on individual vowel differences across dialects as well as speaker variables. The present work seeks to define basic acoustic characteristics of entire vowel systems for three different regional variants of American English spoken in southeastern Wisconsin (aff...
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1. Introduction. This commentary outlines a typology of final laryngeal neutralization under the assumptions of 'laryngeal realism', an approach to feature representation which distinguishes structurally the two-way contrasts of 'voice' languages (Dutch, Polish, Spanish) from those of 'aspiration' languages (German, Somali, Washo). The typology in...
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This study examines synchronic variation in vowels in an effort to advance our understanding of the in language change, in particular, the cross-generational perseverance of vowel shifts. Seeking a connection to patterns and directions of shifts in vowel systems over time, we examine the role of a largely neglected parameter of structured heterogen...
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Recent studies, by us and others, have argued that the Second Conso-nant Shift began medially after stressed short vowels, triggered by a segmental interpretation of aspiration in interaction with Germanic syllable weight requirements. The most striking empirical support came from the dialect of Wermelskirchen, where shift of fortis stops is at-tes...
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American sociolinguists have largely ignored obstruents as invariant, including how speakers distinguish /s, t/ from /z, d/. Upper Midwestern final obstruents provide clear evidence that the realization of such contrasts can and does vary. In a once German-speaking Wisconsin town, we have found that speakers systematically produce final laryngeal d...
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Native-stock English/š/normally derives from sk (Old English fisc > fish), a change dating to ca. 1100, at which time tense vowels were still absent before tautosyllabic consonant clusters. Though sequences of lax vowel plus final/š/have become common via old loans (push < French pousser) and coinages (posh), tense vowel plus final/š/sequences rema...
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As was reported earlier [Fox et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 114, 2396 (2003)], certain vowels in the Ohio and Wisconsin dialects of American English are shifting in different directions. In addition, we have found that the spectral characteristics of these vowels (e.g., duration and formant frequencies) changed systematically under varying degrees of...
Article
Brian D. Joseph & Richard D. Janda (eds.),The handbook of historical linguistics. Malden, MA & Oxford: Blackwell, 2003. Pp. xviii+881. - - Volume 40 Issue 3 - JOSEPH SALMONS, ANDREA MENZ
Article
This paper pursues an “ingenerate” or phonetically based account of i-umlaut as it unfolded in North Germanic. We focus on a famous problem relating to umlaut distributions in i-stem nouns: In the long stems of that class (gestr ‘guest’, from earlier *gastiz), where umlaut is arguably less motivated phonetically, it is generally reflected throughou...
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In the process of language change, vowels tend to shift in ``chains,'' leading to reorganizations of entire vowel systems over time. A long research tradition has described such patterns, but little is understood about what factors motivate such shifts. Drawing data from changes in progress in American English dialects, the broad hypothesis is test...
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This paper builds on growing evidence that aspirated or fortis obstruents in languages like English and German are laryngeally marked, but that phonetic voicing in the (unmarked) unaspirated or lenis series is contextually determined. Employing the laryngeal feature set proposed by Halle & Stevens (1971), as incorporated into the ‘dimensional theor...
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Dutch consonant cluster assimilations have come to play a central role in the debate over whether laryngeal features are restrictedly privative (single-valued) or must be encoded as binary (marking both positive and negative values). It has been argued, in particular, that the negative specification [–voice] is necessary in order to capture the dif...
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This specially commissioned volume considers the processes involved in language change and the issues of how they can be modelled and studied. The way languages change offers an insight into the nature of language itself, its internal organisation, and how it is acquired and used. Accordingly, the phenomenon of language change has been approached f...
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Seit mehr als 60 Jahren dominiert in der historisch-phonologischen Umlaut-Landschaft EIN Aufsatz, eine vierseitige Skizze des althochdeutschen Umlauts von W. Freeman Twaddell. Keller (1978: 160) nennt diese Theorie 'one of the finest achievements of American linguists'. Ähnliche Lobsprüche findet man mehrmals in der Literatur und der Artikel bleibt...
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Much theoretical phonology in the 1990s has focused on the characterization of "voicing" assimilations, nearly always assuming presence of the feature [voice] versus its absence in order to distinguish voiced obstruents from voiceless. While [voice] is uncontestably at play in Romance and Slavic, as well as in many other languages, we show here tha...
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Monica Macaulay and Marlys Macken; we especially thank Rob Howell for discussions on this topic and comments on an earlier version of the paper. The usual disclaimers apply.
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Evidence suggests that Germanic languages resisted the spread of historical umlaut processes. We propose that examples of such superficially varied umlautless residues all yield to a single coherent phonological account. Specifically, these vocalic assimilations show strong preferences for reducing more extreme differences in place of articulation...
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Prosodic Morphology and Phonology have extended the prosodic hierarchy to solve recalcitrant problems in a number of areas and, more recently, work on phonological acquisition has determined that a prosodic template is a basic organizing unit for the acquisition of features and generalizations across the lexicon. While synchronic phonological theor...
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La plupart des langues mixtec ont ete analysees comme contrastant des occlusives voisees prenasalisees avec de simples occlusives non voisees. Les As. montrent ici que, tandis que les occlusives voisees sont souvent phonetiquement prenasalisees en mixtec de Chalcatongo et dans beaucoup d'autres dialectes, leur caracterisation phonologique est celle...
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The phonetic gesture of stop consonant aspiration, which is predictable in a Germanic language such as English, has been described traditionally as ranging from a ‘puff of air’ upon release of closure (Heffner 1950) to the segmental occurrence of a following voiceless glottal approximant /h/ (Trager & Smith 1951). Within the generative phonology pa...
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Les travaux sur la langue mixtec, synchroniques et diachroniques, ont propose deux approches differentes du statut des occlusives glottales. L'A. montre que ces deux approches sont insuffisantes comme solution synchronique au probleme. Pour resoudre cette difficulte, il pose pour la majorite des dialectes mixtec l'existence d'un trait glottique d'e...
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L'A. examine un des problemes irresolus de la phonologie historique des langues germaniques. Ce probleme est l'effet d'inhibition de l'umlaut exerce par certains groupes de consonnes en vieux-haut-allemand
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This article examines the interplay between umlaut and plurality in Old High German as well as the modem language, a diachronic problem central to the theoretical literature on ‘Natural Morphology’ (NM). The NM analysis of these relations is revised on a variety of theoretical and empirical counts. This examination results first in a reformulation...
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Le gotique presente des variations entre fl- (flodus) et pl- (pliuhan) a l'initiale, tandis que les autres dialectes germaniques n'ont que fl- (flood,flee). Cette particularite phonologique a ete jusqu'ici expliquee essentiellement par un melange de dialectes consecutif a la traduction ou a la transmission des textes gotiques, autrement dit par un...
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Data from language acquisition, psycholinguistics, and diachronic studies have all shown that the lexicon has a clear internal structure, which includes relationships among lexical items based on phonetic and phonological characteristics, semantic features, morphology, and frequency of use. In the absence, however, of direct evidence from grammar,...
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Proto-Indo-European (PIE) roots are usually reconstructed as overwhelmingly CVC for the earliest stages. PIE is also considered to have systematically prohibited three of the nine logically possible laryngeal manner combinations among its Stop-V-Stop roots: plain voiced stops could not co-occur, nor could either order of voiced aspirates with voice...
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This study compares vowel spaces in three regional varieties of American English spoken in central Ohio, south-central Wisconsin, and western North Carolina to determine whether the significant variation in the vowel systems of these dialects also affects the dialect-specific vowel space area. The gender-related differences are assessed by comparin...
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where Gustav himself made a formidable contribution. In this paper, we step back to look at the broad arc of umlaut's development from its phonetic and phonological origins to its eventual morphological restructuring and reanalysis. And in this too, there is a clear connection to Gustav's life and scholarship, in that after his early work in phonol...
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One of the most basic issues in language change is the relationship between social and structural factors: To what extent is change across generations driven by social factors and to what extent by directly structural factors? Labov defines "the general condition for language change" this way: "Children must learn to talk differently from their mot...

Citations

... In other words, and through reversing a quote by Blust (2005) who questioned whether sound changes must be linguistically motivated, we put to the test whether an apparently externally motivated spread of a sound change may in fact also be driven by internal factors. This is important for various reasons: (1) internal and external factors are very likely intertwined in sound change processes, as accumulating evidence for a greater complexity of type and spread of sound change suggests (see below and Hansen, 2001;Kerswill, 2002;Phillips, 2015). (2) Other (prosodic) changes regarding quantity have been proposed to be conditioned by phonetic and or phonological factors, for example, lenition of fortis stops (Hualde et al., 2011), open syllable lengthening in Middle High German, Middle Dutch, and Middle English (Lahiri & Dresher, 1999) or the emergence of the Estonian three-way quantity contrast in vowels and intervocalic consonants in disyllables (Lehiste, 2011). ...
... Kroll and Gollan 2014;Pickering and Garrod 2013;), but that distinct processes for realizing those structures may be differentiated and distributed across different languages and social contexts. Because variation and change result from interactions of both linguistic structures and social factors (e.g., Dorian 1993;Natvig and Salmons 2021;Salmons and Purnell 2020), gradient, variable, and asymmetric HL effects may emerge from changes in the use and activation of language-specific processes over speakers' lifespans (Natvig 2019;Putnam et al. 2019). Moreover, this model follows recent phonological work that adopts the modular design put forward in Purnell and Raimy (2015), and applied to contact phenomena in Natvig (2019Natvig ( , 2021, as a way forward in modeling the heterogeneity and plasticity of HL speech sounds. ...
... The heritage language specialist is familiar with grammatical simplification in the speech of their subjects, despite overall fluent command. An example is the heritage German of Wisconsin in the United States (Bousquette et al., 2016): ...
... A body of research has established that voicing is universally articulatorily dispreferred in wordinitial and word-final or coda positions (Westbury & Keating, 1986;Iverson & Salmons, 2011); it is universally preferred intervocalically (Westbury & Keating, 1986;Davidson, 2016) and after a nasal (Rothenberg, 1968;Kent & Moll, 1969;Ohala & Ohala, 1993;Ohala, 1983;Hayes & Stivers, 2000). Voicing is also dispreferred in clusters and geminates: the longer the closure, the more antagonistic articulatory forces are to voicing. ...
... This is one of the most stable features in the genealogical analysis * but one o