Greek vowels and the nature of acoustic gradience

dynamicsIn this talk, I will discuss vowel variation in Standard Modern Greek (SMG) and Cypriot Greek (CG). These two varieties differ most significantly in their consonants, but it is very difficult to perceive differences in the vowels. Young—between 18–23—Athenian and Nicosian speakers participated in the study. The results demonstrate gradi- ent effects of vowel variation and change on vowel acoustic properties: vowel duration, articulatory space, and formant dynamics. I argue that their variation is best understood with respect to Greek vowel raising and vowel reduction, and suggest that vowel variation in Greek applies on specific subsystems (unstressed vowels vary significantly between the two varieties whereas stressed vowels display only minor differences). The findings appear to be the first to gather and compare acoustic material from urban Standard Modern Greek (SMG) and Cypriot Greek (CG) vowels in a unified manner. The implications of these findings for studies on language variation, language change, and language pathology are also discussed.

Date: 2/18/2016

Time: 1:15 PM – 3:00 PM

Categories: Humanities

Organizer: Centre for Language Technology, Gothenburg

Location: Seminar Room, Dicksongatan 4

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