Heavens, what a sound! The acoustics and articulation of Swedish Viby-i

Fabienne Elina Westerberg
2020
This thesis provides a phonetic case study of the Swedish /i:/ variant known as Viby-i (sometimes also called Lidingö-i). This sound is characterised by an unusual 'thick', 'buzzing' vowel quality, but its articulation has long been disputed. Previous research suggests that this vowel may be subject to articulatory trade-off, whereby speakers can achieve the same sound using different articulatory strategies. There are also indications that Viby-i may be subject to sociolinguistic variation, as
more » ... istic variation, as it appears to be spreading across Sweden, and it is frequently used as a prestige marker in urban dialects. This thesis addresses the issues of how speakers produce Viby-i, how its acoustic properties relate to its articulation, and how it is used across different social and linguistic contexts. The study presents data from 34 Swedish speakers from Gothenburg, Stockholm, and Uppsala, recorded with simultaneous audio, ultrasound tongue imaging, and lip video. The speakers' /i:/ productions are analysed acoustically with regard to their formant values, dynamic properties, and frication. Linguistic and social variation is also explored using a word list and a demographic questionnaire. The articulatory analysis establishes the tongue gestures and lip positions used to produce Viby-i, and investigates the link between acoustics and articulation using a set of normalised articulatory measurement points, which are compared to the first two formants. The acoustic analysis shows that Viby-i is characterised by a low acoustic F2, which is usually lower than [e:], and a relatively high F1, which is usually similar to [e:]. Linguistic context has a small but reliable effect on formant values, and also affects the fricated offglide of the vowel. All speakers in the sample are found to use Viby-i rather than standard [i:], but regional differences exist in both acoustics and articulation. The articulatory analysis reveals that Viby-i can be produced with a variety of tongue shapes, most of which involve a low, fronted tongue body, high [...]
doi:10.5525/gla.thesis.81886 fatcat:x5wdv6mojjfsth3tpjqk3sy3c4