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A regional survey of the relationship between vowel and consonant duration in Shetland Scots
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
Number of Authors: 2
2015 (English)In: Folia linguistica, ISSN 0165-4004, E-ISSN 1614-7308, Vol. 49, no 1, 57-83 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The local dialect spoken in the Shetland Isles constitutes a form of Lowland Scots. It has been suggested that stressed syllables in Shetland Scots tend to contain either a long vowel followed by a short consonant (V:C) or a short vowel followed by a long consonant ( C:), and furthermore that this pattern constitutes a trace of complementary quantity in Norn, a Nordic language spoken in Shetland approximately until the end of the eighteenth century. The existence of such a pattern has also been supported by acoustic measurements. Following a summary and overview of Norn's demise in the Shetland Isles, this paper presents a regional survey of the relationship between vowel and consonant duration in stressed syllables in Shetland Scots. Based on acoustic data from 43 speakers, representing ten separate regions across the Shetland Isles, the inverse correlation between vowel and consonant duration is assessed. The results reveal that the inverse correlation is strongest in the northern part of Shetland and weakest in the south, and displays a general north-to-south decline across Shetland. The results are thus generally consistent with predictions that follow from regional variation concerning Norn's death; evidence suggests that it survived the longest in the northern parts of Shetland.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 49, no 1, 57-83 p.
Keyword [en]
Norn, Scots, Shetland, vowel and consonant duration, complementary quantity
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-117795DOI: 10.1515/flin-2015-0002ISI: 000353639200002OAI: diva2:815765
Available from: 2015-06-01 Created: 2015-06-01 Last updated: 2015-06-01Bibliographically approved

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Sundkvist, Peter
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