ESTONIAN ACADEMY
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akadeemia kirjastus
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Linguistica Uralica cover
Linguistica Uralica
ISSN 1736-7506 (Electronic)
ISSN 0868-4731 (Print)

On the Mid and High Non-Labial Vowels in Luuditsa Votic; pp. 241-255

Full article in PDF format | https://dx.doi.org/10.3176/lu.2017.4.01

Authors
Elena Markus, Fedor Rozhanskiy

Abstract

This article investigates two questions concerning the Votic vowel system: (1) Is the contrast between e and vowel phonemes preserved in contexts after j; (2) Does contemporary Votic distinguish the vowel used in Russian borrowings from other Votic vowels? The study is based on materials recorded from the last speakers of Votic. The analysis shows that in contexts after j the vowel is phonetically similar but not identical to e; therefore, the contrast between the two vowels is not neutralized. The vowel in Russian borrowings did not merge with any Votic vowels, but it had been adopted differently into Jõgõperä and Luuditsa varieties. The Jõgõperä speaker pronounces the vowel similarly to the Russian , so this high non-front vowel becomes a pair to the high front . The Luuditsa speaker, however, pronounces almost as i. This fact is unexpected, but it can be explained with the hypothesis of ”double borrowing” under the influence of the contacting Ingrian language. Notably, the Luuditsa Votic speaker may have adopted the Ingrian pronunciation of the Russian borrowings where the Russian vowel is pronounced similarly to i.


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