Factor Analysis of Vowel Pronunciation in Swedish Dialects

Therese Leinonen

in Computing and Language Variation

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780748640300
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671380 | DOI:
Factor Analysis of Vowel Pronunciation in Swedish Dialects

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The study presented here analysed 91 local Swedish dialects based on vowel pronunciation. Acoustic measurements of vowel quality were made for 18 vowels of 1,014 speakers by means of principal component analysis (PCA) of vowel spectra. Two principal components were extracted explaining more than 34 of the total variance in the vowel spectra. Plotting vowels in the PC1–PC2 plane showed a solution with strong resemblance to vowels in a formant plane. Per location averages of all speakers were calculated and factor analysis was run with the 91 locations as data cases and the two acoustic component of the 18 words as variables. Nine factors were extracted corresponding to distinct geographic distribution patterns. The results from the PCA of the acoustic data were used as input for analysing dialectal variation. The factor scores of the analysis revealed co-occurrence of a number of linguistic features.

Keywords: factor analysis; vowel pronunciation; Swedish; dialects; principal component analysis; vowels; vowel quality; acoustic measurements; vowel spectra; dialectal variation

Chapter.  5397 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Language Teaching and Learning

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