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Phonology, its Faces and Interfaces


Edited By Jolanta Szpyra-Kozłowska and Eugeniusz Cyran

The papers collected in this volume examine selected aspects of the interaction of phonology with phonetics, morphosyntax and the lexicon in a variety of languages including Korean, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, British English, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Dutch and Hawaiian. In order to approach the role and ways of expressing extraphonological information in phonology, the international contributors adopt different methods of analysis (data gathering, experiments, theoretical discussions), couched in various theoretical frameworks (such as Optimality Theory and Government Phonology), which reveal both the multifarious faces and interfaces of modern phonological research.

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The reduction of intervocalic /w/ in Polish (Kamil Kaźmierski)


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Kamil Kaźmierski

The reduction of intervocalic /w/ in Polish1

This paper investigates intervocalic /w/ deletion in Polish. The aim is to find out whether the process is restricted to the Greater Poland dialect area (which is suggested by literature on dialects of Polish), and whether its application shows signs of a change in progress. After a presentation of the phenomenon in the Introduction, Section 2 formulates and justifies the research questions. Section 3 describes the methodology, and Section 4 gives an overview of the results. Based on a quantitative analysis of a corpus of conversational speech of 20 speakers of Polish (10 from Greater Poland, 10 from the New Mixed Dialects area), a negative answer is given to both research questions. Section 5 discusses these results, and suggests directions for further research.

1.  Introduction

The intervocalic labio-velar approximant /w/ can be deleted in Polish in casual speech. This process yields forms with sequences of, sometimes identical, vowels such as those given in (1) below.


a. stałem ‘I stood-masc’ /ˈsta.wɛm/ ➔ [ˈsta.ɛm],

b. zrozumiałam ‘I understood-fem’ /zrɔ.zuˈmja.wam/ ➔ [zrɔ.zuˈ]

A great resource on Polish casual speech is Madelska’s (2005) Słownik wariantywności fonetycznej. It is based on a corpus of interviews, and provides phonetic transcriptions, together with token counts, of all the variant pronunciations of all words that appeared in the...

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