2004
Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1384-5845
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1171

Abstract

The dialect of the city of Amsterdam is characterised by palatalisation (fronting) of short [α] and [o], especially before n, s, st and t. The consonants themselves are also palatalised and it may be that they trigger the palatalisation of the vowels. The palatalisation can also be heard well beyond the city borders. The precise input and conditions, the stylistic and regional aspects and the dimension of age were investigated by means of interviews in 94 towns and villages during the period 1986 – 2010. The results are as follows: 1. There is not much difference between [α] en [o]; as regards the conditions, the palatalisation decreases if we go from n via s and st to t. 2. It is a phenomenon which maintains itself very well (in any case there is no relevant difference between older and younger people); in the north of the province of North Holland (Westfriesland) the phenomenon is even expanding. 3. There is no clear difference as regards the formality of situation; hence it can be assumed that people are not very well aware of it. 4. Amsterdam is indeed the centre: on a map, one could draw circles indicating the degree of palatalisation, except that north of Amsterdam the image would be somewhat irregular, showing a weak palatalisation in Westfriesland, a stronger one north of this subregion and no palatalisation at all in the Zaan enclave northwest of Amsterdam. It is possible that the inhabitants of the Zaan region do not much like to resemble the inhabitants of Amsterdam. 5. About the historical background of this palatalisation nothing can be stated with certainty.

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2012-07-01
2021-11-28
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  • Article Type: Research Article
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