14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Mapping Dialect Characteristics to Dialect Speakers

Knut Kvale (1), Arne Kjell Foldvik (2)

(1) Telenor R&D; (2) Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

Traditional dialect maps based on data from carefully selected informants, usually give clear-cut dialect borders, isoglosses, with one dialect characteristic present on one side of the isogloss and absent on the other. We have compared results from traditional dialect research with results from a thorough auditory analysis of /r/ and /l/ pronunciation among the 1015 informants in the Norwegian part of SpeechDat. Our analysis of /r/ pronunciation in the Norwegian SpeechDat database shows that traditional dialect maps give an idealized picture of the linguistic landscape, since variation and not uniformity is the rule rather than the exception. With no widely approved standard pronunciation Norwegians tend to use their own dialect in most situations. To what extent the Norwegian findings have parallels in other countries will depend on two main factors, dialect allegiance vs. a national standard pronunciation and the extent to which the population is sedentary or mobile.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kvale, Knut / Foldvik, Arne Kjell (1999): "Mapping dialect characteristics to dialect speakers", In ICPhS-14, 1613-1616.