Re: [tied] The Swedish Chef

From: tgpedersen
Message: 14310
Date: 2002-08-13

--- In cybalist@..., Piotr Gasiorowski <piotr.gasiorowski@...>
> 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 <g├Âra> 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
> 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.
As far I can tell, with my non-native understanding, your retroflex S
should be the sound found in German "ich", (my keyboard has no cent-
sign) Retroflex s does exist in Swedish, but only after r. The last
step in the development could be described as a loss of the "stop"
element (c^ -> <cent sign>, dj -> j). The pronunciation c^ (or rather
tj) for original palatalized k exists also in Denmark in the
traditional rendition of songs by the Swedish rococo poet Bellmann.