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Teoria i metodologia

Phonic variation in Catalan: inventory and assessment of methodology, by Miquel Àngel Pradilla Cardona


The real universe of the sample is made up of individuals born in Pont de Suert before 1956 (38 informants aged over 30 years at the time of the interview – 7.3%). The conditioning of the sample to stages of social transformation in the area excludes part of the population, the younger sector.

The variable studied was the voiceless affricative prepalatal, characteristic of the speech of Ribagorçà, which has been progressively replaced by the voiced affricative prepalatal of standard central eastern Catalan. The variable rule is:

(1) africada sorda- <fricativa sonora>

2.5. ESCRIVÀ, V. (1993). "Aproximació sociolingüística al procés d'assimilació de la variable [e oberta] àtona final a Oliva", in Actes del Novè Col·loqui Internacional de Llengua i Literatura Catalanes III. Barcelona: Publicacions de l'Abadia de Montserrat, pp. 121-136.

Although this study is well thought out, the author himself warns that it is a pre-survey, i. e. a preliminary study providing frequential statistical data.

The speech community is the city of Oliva, in the Valencian district of Safor, and the real universe of the sample consists of Catalan-speaking inhabitants (32 informants-0.17%).

The variable is final atonic archiphoneme /A/. The use of a subjective assessment test enables him to verify the loss of prestige of the traditional variant [e oberta]:

(1) /A/ - <e oberta,a,o oberta> / ___#

2.6. MONTOYA, B. (1989). Variabilitat i prestigi en el català de Valls i de l'Alt Camp. Valls: Institut d'Estudis Vallencs.

The first aspect to highlight is that this research is based on group-work carried out by students of COU. This needs to be borne in mind because the study deviates substantially from the methodological requirements of data collection. Our group of researchers are inexperienced and heterogenous. As a result, the homogeneity and rigour of the interviews is more than questionable.

The speech communities are the towns of Valls, Alcover and Pla de Santa Maria. These are located in the subdialect of Tarragona, defined as an area of linguistic transition between western and eastern Catalan. The real universe of the sample consists of Catalan-speakers from these towns (66 informants, 55 of whom are from Valls-0.46%). The absence of the factor sex is due to the topic of the interview: "Aspects of food and cooking".

The linguistic variables studied are idiosyncratic features of the district’s geolect that vary from the standardized forms:

(1) /a,e/ - <e oberta,a,o oberta> /___#
(2) nasal - <jn>

2.7. PRADILLA, M. À. (1993). Variació i canvi lingüístic en curs al català de transició nord-occidental/valencià. Doctoral thesis, University Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona). (9)

Under the supervision of M. T. Turell, the author of this paper defended his doctoral thesis in 1993. He had carried out a number of prior exploratory studies that opened the way to this wider-ranging investigation. The first (Pradilla, 1996) was a sonographic and descriptive prepalatal study of the Baix Maestrat district, in the north of the Community of Valencia. The second (Pradilla, 1993b), was a preliminary variationist approach, here on the town of Benicarló. This town was the speech community chosen in the reference study (70 informants-0.72%).

Benicarló is located in a transitional area between western Catalan and Valencian. The variable phenomena tending towards change are very frequent, but the pressure of a hypothetical Valencian standard does not seem to play a part in the direction that they are set to take, at least when the material was collected (1992), since this function was still being carried out by Spanish. One of the clearest items explaining this is the interference of the latter.

The study deals with the process of linguistic change that has been diachronically named deaffrication. From a linguistic point of view, this is a very complex variable with seven variants obtained through acoustic introspection:

(1) /fricativa sonora, dfricativa sonora/ - <jfricativa sonora,fricativa sonora, ,dfricativa sonora,dfricativa sonora,d:fricativa sonora,dfricativa sorda> / V___V

It uses a subjective assessment experiment and a powerful statistical analysis programme.

2.8. PLAZA, C. (1995). "Lleialtat lingüística, edat i nivell educatiu. La e posttònica a la Conca de Barberà", in M. T. TURELL (ed.). La sociolingüística de la variació. Barcelona: PPU, pp. 117-138.

This study is based on the doctoral thesis of the author, presented in 1994 with the title La parla de la Conca de Barberà. (10) The subject of this chiefly geolinguistic research is the speech of the Conca de Barberà. This district, as with the Alt Camp in Montoya’s work (1993), is located in an area of linguistic transition between eastern and western Catalan, and forms a break with the variety of Tarragona. The area currently has an extensive list of phenomena of change tending towards replacement of the native variants in favour of prestigious, standard forms.


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