Suomen d ja r sosiofoneettisessa kentässä

  • Liisa Mustanoja
  • Michael O’Dell


A sociophonetic perspective on d and r in Finnish (englanti)

1/2007 (111)

A sociophonetic perspective on d and r in Finnish

Numerous studies have discussed and analysed a wide range of phonological and morphological features in Finnish, and these features have become well-established within Finnish dialectology and sociolinguistics. Among these features are the variants corresponding to the weak grade of t, or in slightly broader terms the variants corresponding to the d of standard Finnish. In the speech of a single individual or of a group of speakers the variants of this feature can include r and the voiced tap (IPA ?) in addition to d.

The classification of this dialect feature is not straightforward, however, despite its apparent simplicity. In reality, the different variants are part of a continuum, and attempts to draw boundaries between them are likely to be inconsistent and somewhat artificial. It is also interesting that in Fennistic research the r variant, for example, has scarcely been studied in any other capacity than as the dental spirants successor defined in historical linguistics. Where it has been presumed that the r has no variant, i.e. where there is an original trill, the practice has always been to use an r in transcription.

Using two different speech corpora, the writers counted the number of vibration cycles occurring in cases corresponding to original trills in intervocalic position, and found that a single tap was very common. Indeed, the vast majority - as much as 90 % - of the cases analysed were of this type. It appears that in transcriptions, and thus in the research made on the basis of such transcriptions, a dual approach has been adopted: in the case of successors to the historical dental spirant, the domain of d and r has been subject to detailed treatment, whereas in the case of original trills no scope has been left for the possibility of variation - even where variation among speakers or groups of speakers is evident.

The writers examine the domain of d and r in its entirety as a physiological and social phenomenon. The subject is discussed from the perspective of phonetics research and research on language variation. The article also considers how different perspectives can be brought together to produce results that are of greater use in linguistic research.

Liisa Mustanoja Michael ODell

tammi 1, 2007
Mustanoja, L., & O’Dell, M. (2007). Suomen <i>d</i> ja <i>r</i> sosiofoneettisessa kentässä. Virittäjä, 111(1), 56. Noudettu osoitteesta