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Computing and Language VariationInternational Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing Volume 2$
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John Nerbonne and Charlotte Gooskens

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640300

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640300.001.0001

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Factor Analysis of Vowel Pronunciation in Swedish Dialects

Factor Analysis of Vowel Pronunciation in Swedish Dialects

(p.189) Factor Analysis of Vowel Pronunciation in Swedish Dialects
Computing and Language Variation

Therese Leinonen

Edinburgh University Press

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

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