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Gross, Johan
Publications (2 of 2) Show all publications
Gross, J. & Forsberg, J. (2019). Weak Lips? A Possible Merger of /i/ and /y:/ in Gothenburgh. Phonetica, 1-21
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Weak Lips? A Possible Merger of /i/ and /y:/ in Gothenburgh
2019 (English)In: Phonetica, ISSN 0031-8388, E-ISSN 1423-0321, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND/AIMS: This study investigates a possible merger in the early stages between /i:/ and /y:/ among young speakers in Gothenburg, Sweden.

METHODS: (1) A large-scale online perception experiment testing listeners' abilities to identify the two vowels and (2) acoustic analysis of 705 vowels from 19 speakers.

RESULTS: The perception study shows that listeners classify the horizontally centralized /y:/ as /i:/, both in isolated vowel items and in items containing the full word. This indicates that /y:/ is moving into the perceptual space of /i:/. Listeners also classify the unmerged /y:/ as /i:/ when listening to [y:] in isolation, indicating that lip rounding is a perceptually weak feature, for this centralized vowel, in this variety. The acoustic analysis shows that /i:/ tends to be produced as [ɨ:], and that there is no acoustic difference between /i:/ and /y:/ in measurements correlated with the first two formants, i.e. lip rounding is the most important distinctive feature.

CONCLUSION: Results point in the direction of an incipient vowel merger, following a merger-by-approximation model. These results indicate a lack of perceptual strength of an articulatory feature in the disappearing phoneme, namely lip rounding, and the consequent perceptual similarities between the horizontally centralized [ɨ:] and /y:/.

Linguistics, phonetics
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-13840 (URN)10.1159/000499107 (DOI)31048576 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85065608487 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-05-17 Created: 2019-05-17 Last updated: 2019-06-05Bibliographically approved
Gross, J. (2018). Segregated vowels: Language variation and dialect features among Gothenburg youth. Language Variation and Change, 30(3), 315-336
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Segregated vowels: Language variation and dialect features among Gothenburg youth
2018 (English)In: Language Variation and Change, ISSN 0954-3945, E-ISSN 1469-8021, Vol. 30, no 3, p. 315-336Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper examines the effects of housing segregation on variation in the vowel systems of young speakers of Swedish who have grown up in different neighborhoods of Gothenburg. Significant differences are found for variants of the variables /i:/ and /y:/, which are strongly associated with the local dialect; these two vowels also exhibit coherence. Another vowel pair, /.:/ and /o:/, are involved in a coherent leveling process affecting many of the central Swedish dialects but differing in degree of openness in different neighborhoods of Gothenburg. The results show that the variation is not simply a reflection of foreign background, nor of groups of youth adopting single variants; rather, a number of social factors conflate in housing segregation, which interferes with the transmission of more abstract aspects of the local dialect’s vowel system to young speakers in certain neighborhoods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2018
Language studies
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-13604 (URN)10.1017/S0954394518000169 (DOI)000456822100002 ()2-s2.0-85059832532 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-03-21 Created: 2019-03-21 Last updated: 2019-10-21Bibliographically approved

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