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date: 15 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

As an illustration of how corpora may be used in phonological analyses, this chapter treats an ongoing change in East Norwegian by means of two corpora of Oslo speech. The chapter’s aim within this handbook is to explore the use of these corpora in the analysis of a complex change where extra- as well as intralinguistic factors influence the application of the rule under analysis, and where among the latter type, lexical as well as phonological and morphophonological factors all seem to be involved. The basic question will be how far a corpus can take us in our attempt at disentangling the different structural factors that seem to be active in the change. The conclusion will be that a corpus-based analysis is far superior to an intuition-based one; but—perhaps not surprisingly—not all questions raised by our analysis can be satisfactorily answered. The chapter also provides an example of how results from a quantitative, corpus-based investigation can be further elaborated by means of a corpus-external statistical package, in this case the GoldVarb software developed primarily for sociolinguistic analysis.

Keywords: variation, phonological change, coronals, apicals, laminals, assimilation, structural constraints, multivariate analysis, GoldVarb

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