2004
Volume 72, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0039-8691
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1214

Abstract

Abstract

Standard works on linguistics give Amstetten Bavarian (Ladefoged and Maddieson 1996) and Weert Limburgish (Ladefoged 2007) as examples of languages with four or five distinctive vowel heights. Other Limburgish and East Central Bavarian dialects are also described with four or five heights. If the reports are correct, these vowel systems have significant typological importance. They would invalidate the neutral vowel theory which proposes that no language will have more than three distinctive heights or depths on any vocalic plane (Hitch 2017). It is proposed that semi-diphthongality and laxness are distinctive features in Limburgish which permit analyses of three distinctive heights. Similarly, it is proposed that laxness is distinctive in the relevant Bavarian dialects and that they have three distinctive heights.

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2021-09-19
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