Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 21, 2017

(l) as a sociolinguistic variable in Francoprovençal

Jonathan Kasstan and Daniela Müller

Abstract

This article argues for (l) as a sociolinguistic variable in Francoprovençal: (l) refers to variable palatalisation of /l/ in obstruent+lateral onset clusters (/kl, ɡl, pl, bl, fl/), a feature that has long been the subject of metalinguistic commentary, but no systematic analysis. Our data, which come from a larger study of Francoprovençal (FP), show significant intraspeaker variation. Sociolinguistic interviews were carried out in the Lyonnais region of France among 21 FP speakers with different acquisition routes. /l/-palatalisation is far from categorical in our sample, with increased rates of the French variant [l] over the traditional [j] variant. We interpret these data as contact-induced change: phonological leveling is underway, with convergence towards French. These findings are consistent with the language death literature, and are now widely reported in the context of other minority varieties spoken in the Hexagon. Conversely, some new speakers show different patterns with a greater range of palatalised variants. These findings add to a growing body of evidence that suggest laterals to be a locus for socio-indexical cues cross-linguistically.

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Naomi Nagy and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on earlier versions of this article.

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Appendix

A Participant demographics

#Speaker typeSexAge groupFieldwork site
P18-03NativeM70–80+St-Martin-en-Haut
C06-04NativeM70–80+St-Martin-en-Haut
M06-05NativeF70–80+St-Martin-en-Haut
J18-06NativeF70–80+St-Martin-en-Haut
J02-07NativeM70–80+Rontalon
G07-02NativeM70–80+Rontalon
C03-08NativeM70–80+Rontalon
A06-09NativeM70–80+St-Symphorien-sur-Coise
C06-10NativeF70–80+St-Symphorien-sur-Coise
N22-11NativeM70–80+St-Martin-en-Haut
O22-12NativeF70–80+St-Martin-en-Haut
M03-13NativeM70–80+St-Symphorien-sur-Coise
M03-14NativeF70–80+St-Symphorien-sur-Coise
J10-15NativeM70–80+St-Martin-en-Haut
J10-16NativeF70–80+St-Martin-en-Haut
R12-17NativeM70–80+Yzeron
C12-01LateM45–70Yzeron
L16-18LateM45–70Mornant
A18-23NewM20–45Lyon
S07-24NewM20–45Lyon
D20-25NewM20–45Lyon

B Wordlist translation task – items for (l)

SFEnglish gloss
pleurer (inf.)‘cry’ (inf.)
pleurez (2nd p. pl.)‘cry’ (2nd p. pl.)
recyclage‘recycling’
bible‘bible’
(être) souple‘(to be) flexible’
cloches‘bells’
glas‘tolling bell’
plus claire‘clear’
flamme‘flame’
aveugle‘blind person’
tables‘tables’
portable‘portable’

C Example lexical items from spontaneous speech

FPSFEnglish Gloss
[kjɔʁ]clair‘clear’
[ˈkjɔʃi]cloche‘bell’
[kjɔ]clef‘key’
[ˈɡjasi]glace‘mirror’
[gjɔ]glas‘tolling bell’
[plɛ̃]plein‘full’
[ˈplɛzi]plaisir‘pleasure’
[ply]plus‘more’
[blɔ]blé‘wheat’
[ˈblesi]blessé‘injured’
[blɑ̃]blanc‘white’
[flø]fleur‘flower’
[ˈflɔma]flamme‘flame’
[flɑ̃]flan‘pudding’
Published Online: 2017-11-21
Published in Print: 2017-12-20

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