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Nordic Prosody

Proceedings of the XIIth Conference, Trondheim 2016

Edited By Jardar Eggesbö Abrahamsen, Jacques Koreman and Wim van Dommelen

This volume contains articles based on the presentations given at the Nordic Prosody XII conference, which was held at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim, Norway) in August 2016. The contributors investigate various prosodic aspects, including intonation, rhythm, speaking rate, intensity, and breathing, using approaches ranging from phonetic and phonological analysis to speech technology methods. While most of the studies examine read speech, some of them explore the prosodics of spontaneous speech. The languages that receive most attention are Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic as well as Estonian, Latgalian and Polish. In addition to the larger Nordic languages, several papers focus on regional languages spoken in these areas.

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An exploration of tonal features in some East Norwegian Dialects: Fintoft & Mjaavatn (1980) revisited (Randi Alice Nilsen / Perlaug Marie Kveen)


Randi Alice Nilsen, Perlaug Marie Kveen

An exploration of tonal features in some East Norwegian Dialects: Fintoft & Mjaavatn (1980) revisited

Abstract: In this paper we report on our findings in an investigation of the recently rediscovered recordings made by Fintoft & Mjaavatn in their frequently cited study from 1980. They found that the Norwegian word accents, or ‘toneme curves’, based on average measurements are of four types, and presented a map which shows how these curves are distributed as tonal isoglosses across Norway. Later investigations have indicated that their description of East Norwegian tonal realisations seems to be incorrect, at least their description of the dialects in Trøndelag and North Gudbrandsdal. We will present some data from Fintoft & Mjaavatn’s original material, as well as some new analyses, in order to check whether their description of Norwegian tonal curves holds water, or whether their methodological approach leads to an erroneous picture of the Norwegian tonal dialectal landscape. Our findings raise the question of the relation between models and measurements.

1. Background

The intonation systems of Norwegian dialects are basically of two types: H(igh)- and L(ow)-tone dialects. The first type is typically instantiated in most of the West Norwegian dialect area, the second type in East Norwegian dialects. In addition there are areas where H- and L-tone dialect features may co-occur (see Fretheim & Nilsen, 1989). Our main concern in this article is a reevaluation of a...

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