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Danish VOT

From:Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>
Date:Monday, November 10, 2008, 16:43
Yesterday I had the opportunity to study the Danish VOT really
thoroughly, as the first episode of an interesting Danish series
about the 19th century was shown on TV here. And to my surprise, it
corresponded pretty well with the description I have of the Faroese
VOT. The fortis stops were all strongly aspirated, the lenis ones had
no perceptible aspiration, and mostly neither of them had any voice
to speak of either. I could only hear some slight voice, almost
imperceptible, before a sonorous consonant like l or r, or between
vowels, except that the long intervocalic stops, those that
paradoxically are written _kk_, _pp_ and _tt_, are fully voiced, not
perceptibly less voiced than the Norwegian voiced stops.

So it seems Danish has a three-way contrast. Rather an enlightening
find, and something I hadn't realised before despite the many times
I've heard Danish spoken.

This is probably the reason why upper class Norwegians make so many
curious and/or funny attempts to aspirate their fortes, in imitation
of the Danes as is their habit still after almost 200 years of

Now I'm looking forward to my next opportunity to hear some Swedish,
to see what the situation is there. I expect there are dialectal
differences in both countries, though.

As for Norway, both eastern and western dialects seem to have fully
voiced lenis stops. But I have a northern speaker living nearby. Have
to check up on him sometime soon, too.



Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>