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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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Phonetic and Lexical Predictors of Intelligibility

Phonetic and Lexical Predictors of Intelligibility

(p.63) Phonetic and Lexical Predictors of Intelligibility
Computing and Language Variation

Charlotte Gooskens

Wilbert Heeringa

Karin Beijering

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter investigates the intelligibility of standard Danish and seventeen Scandinavian language varieties among young Danes from Copenhagen, Denmark. It also measures distances between standard Danish and each of the seventeen varieties at the lexical level and at different phonetic levels. In order to determine how well these linguistic levels can predict intelligibility, the chapter correlates the intelligibility scores with the linguistic distances and undertakes a number of regression analyses. It shows that for this particular set of closely related language varieties, phonetic distance is a better predictor of intelligibility than lexical distance. Consonant substitutions, vowel insertions, and vowel shortenings contribute significantly to the prediction of intelligibility.

Keywords:   language varieties, Scandinavian, Danish, intelligibility, phonetic distance, lexical distance, consonant substitutions, vowel insertions, vowel shortenings

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