Re: [tied] The Swedish Chef

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 14302
Date: 2002-08-12

Dear Milos,

Before you study "sound transformations" you should learn to appreciate the difference between sounds and letters. You could also learn a thing or two about Swedish orthography and pronunciation. The letter <g> in standard Swedish <göra> stands for the pronunciation [j] (= "y"), which developed out of Old Norse [g] palatalised before front vowels. The process was more or less like this:

g > g' > dj > j

The partly parallel changes starting with Old Norse [k] ran as follows:

k > k' > ts' > tS > S

... where the apostrophe represents palatalisation and S is retroflex: [dj] and [tS] could be conveniently spelt <dj> and <tsj> in Swedish orthography. Judging from your examples (native speakers please correct me if I'm wrong about some details), the Dalarna dialect is simply more conservative than standard Swedish in this respect, and shows an "older" pronunciation (which was once normal in accents ancestral to standard Swedish as well), just like the West Country accent in England retains preconsonantal [r], lost in most of England and in the standard accent of British English. It is the Dalarna accent that did _nothing_ here while the standard accent kept evolving one step further.

The changes shown above are of an extremely widespread type. The palatalisation of velars before front vowels has happened in innumerable instances in languages all over the world. One could mention English, all the Slavic, Indo-Iranian and almost all the Romance languages, and extend the list to any length. Velar palatalisation has a perfectly natural explanation that has to do with the universal properties of human articulators and their dynamics, and is in no way correlated with Nilotic genetic markers.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Milos Bogdanovic" <milos@...>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2002 10:11 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Re: Question about stress and pitch accent in Swedish dialects (hla-a28.gif, heightswed.gif, abo_O.GIF) [1/3]

> Dear Harald Hammarstrom and Torsten
> Thank you for will and time to help me.
> In the meantime I have already found the following information:
> "A similar case is the Dala dialcts and the geographically
> distant dialect of Gotland. Indead, people often mix the two,
> since they have essentially the same tonal prosody (Garding 1993)."
> (Tomas Ryad, Remarks on the Scandinavian tone
> accent typology, Stockholm University, page 4.)
> Also, I have found that Kubrik (Lars Bäckman) who is Chef
> from Muppet Show is from Dalarna, who caricatures his own
> Dalarna dialect while he speaks: "Hurch burdi hurdchi burr"
> And I found example od Dalarna dialect:
> Dalarna dialect - Swedish official:
> Wenn ulum wir djäro? = Vad skall vi göra?
> Ukins racke ir ittan jär? = Vems hund är det här?
> Tsjyrtjas byön = Kyrkans bön
> In these samples I recognize transformation "K" into "T" and "G" into "D".
> Is there really exists that principle in Dalarna dialect in some conditions,
> or I misunderstund the thing?
> This is very important for my work, because I connect the specific
> principles of speech with specific genetic populations of peoples.
> Now, I research influences of the aboriginal population of Dalarna
> on transformations of speech, which appeared while they were
> adopting Indoeuropean (Germa - Swedish) language.
> In attachment you see genetic characteristic of population of Dalarna:
> 1) Highest distribution of "O" blood type.
> 2) Highest distribution of "HLA-A28" antigen,
> that is characteristic for Nilotic language group, etc.
> 3) Great height of Dalarna population.
> I recognized that every racial type (genetic population), has its speech
> characteristics, that are generally very similar no matter there it lives
> in the world.
> Milos Bogdanovic