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Estonian as a heritage language in Sweden: Acoustic and perceptual characteristics of the quantity system
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Language and Culture. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2175-8710
Tartu University, Tartu, Estonia.
Tartu University, Tartu, Estonia.
2014 (English)In: Sociolinguistic Studies, ISSN 1750-8649, E-ISSN 1750-8657, Vol. 8, no 3, 357-382 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The paper studies the Estonian three-way phonological quantity distinction by the second generation Swedish Estonians. Production of the three phonological quantities has been measured in the informal interviews with four speakers, all active members of the Estonian exile community. Comparisons with native Estonians show that three of the four Swedish Estonians had retained the length difference between quantity 2 and 3 in all disyllabic word types. All four displayed native-like pitch contours while two were somewhat inconsistent. The same speakers and four additional ones were then tested for perception of the quantities with re-synthesized speech stimuli. For Estonians in Estonia the temporal cue and the pitch cue are effective in combination, while the Swedish Estonian group shows extensive variability. Some speakers only display the effect of the temporal cue, similarly to fluent Estonian L2 speakers. Others have reduced the three-way system to a binary one. In this pilot study we can thus observe either incomplete acquisition in a foreign environment or language attrition in the first Swedish-born generation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Equinox Publishing, 2014. Vol. 8, no 3, 357-382 p.
Keyword [en]
language attrition, phonology attrition, heritage language, acoustic production, perception, Estonian in Sweden
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121548DOI: 10.1558/sols.v8i3.13978OAI: diva2:856388
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-09-24 Created: 2015-09-24 Last updated: 2015-10-05Bibliographically approved

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Keevallik, Leelo
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