The long and short of (æ)-variation in Danish - a panel study of short (æ)-variants in Danish in real time

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After a brief introduction on studies of real time change in general, we focus on the well-known variable of short (æ) in Danish. We study this variation in the speech of 43 speakers from Næstved and Copenhagen respectively. The 43 informants were recorded twice with an interval of around 20 years. They were at the time of the first recording between 25 and 40 years of age and may thus be classified as adults past the critical age for language change. The study shows that speakers do indeed change during their life span but that the changes are not predictable in the sense that some speakers show an increased use of the innovative variant, while others show a decrease. The consequences for the apparent time hypothesis as well as for the Labovian model of linguistic change are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Linguistica Hafniensia: International Journal of Linguistics
Volume41
Pages (from-to)64-82
Number of pages19
ISSN0374-0463
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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