An auditory, acoustic, articulatory and sociophonetic study of Swedish Viby-i

Westerberg, Fabienne E. (2016) An auditory, acoustic, articulatory and sociophonetic study of Swedish Viby-i. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The study investigates the acoustic, articulatory and sociophonetic properties of the Swedish /iː/ variant known as 'Viby-i' in 13 speakers of Central Swedish from Stockholm, Gothenburg, Varberg, Jönköping and Katrineholm. The vowel is described in terms of its auditory quality, its acoustic F1 and F2 values, and its tongue configuration. A brief, qualitative description of lip position is also included. Variation in /iː/ production is mapped against five sociolinguistic factors: city, dialectal region, metropolitan vs. urban location, sex and socioeconomic rating. Articulatory data is collected using ultrasound tongue imaging (UTI), for which the study proposes and evaluates a methodology.
The study shows that Viby-i varies in auditory strength between speakers, and that strong instances of the vowel are associated with a high F1 and low F2, a trend which becomes more pronounced as the strength of Viby-i increases. The articulation of Viby-i is characterised by a lowered and backed tongue body, sometimes accompanied by a double-bunched tongue shape. The relationship between tongue position and acoustic results appears to be non-linear, suggesting either a measurement error or the influence of additional articulatory factors. Preliminary images of the lips show that Viby-i is produced with a spread but lax lip posture. The lip data also reveals parts of the tongue, which in many speakers appears to be extremely fronted and braced against the lower teeth, or sometimes protruded, when producing Viby-i. No sociophonetic difference is found between speakers from different cities or dialect regions. Metropolitan speakers are found to have an auditorily and acoustically stronger Viby-i than urban speakers, but this pattern is not matched in tongue backing or lowering. Overall the data shows a weak trend towards higher-class females having stronger Viby-i, but these results are tentative due to the limited size and stratification of the sample. Further research is needed to fully explore the sociophonetic properties of Viby-i.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Phonetics, swedish, vowels, viby-i, /i/, articulation, acoustics, ultrasound tongue imaging, UTI, sociolinguistics
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Supervisor's Name: Stuart-Smith, Prof. Jane and Eleanor, Dr. Lawson
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Ms Fabienne Westerberg
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7382
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2016 08:50
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2016 10:04
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/7382

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