Marjoleine Sloos

Gast des GRK im Jahr 2010/2011

The interaction between frequency and grammar in language change

The case of E: and e: in German

ErstbetreuerProf. Dr. John Nerbonne
ZweitbetreuerProf. Dr. Guido Seiler
DrittbetreuerWeijer, Prof.Dr. Jeroen van de

The interaction between lexical frequency and grammar in language change

There is a well-know variation in German in the pronunciation of /E:/, which is either pronounced as a long mid high front vowel or a long mid low front vowel. This variation is partly geographically bounded, but in some variants we find extensive variation in production. Focus is the Alemannic variant in the south-west of Germany.
The approach is twofold: a corpus of spontaneous speech (IDS Deutsch Heute) is investigated for the whole German speaking area, including Austria and Switserland. On the other hand, more detailed research is conducted by a production and perception experiment in the Alemannic variant.
All production data are analysed both categorically (by the researcher and by native speakers) as well as automatically with Praat.
First results points towards a change from a dialectal pronunciation to a more regional pronunciation. Factors that influence the pronunciation are e.g. word frequency and umlaut.

SprachenDutch, English, German
ForschungsrichtungPhonology, Psycholinguistics, Morphology
SchlüsselbegriffeOptimality Theory, Exemplar Theory