A phonemic split in Northern Russian: Social networks and inter-speaker variability

Alexei Kochetov


Due to a number of social influences, the Northern Russian dialect has been undergoing a rapid shift towards Standard Russian. Based on data from the small town of Pokcha in the Western Urals, the current study examines one aspect of this general change: a split of a post-alveolar fricative into two distinct phonemes. The analysis of data collected from twenty-nine residents of the town born in the period from 1910 to 1990 focuses on the transmission of the change through social networks and the role of the social factors of age, mobility, and education in this process. It examines both the general trend of the sound change in the population and some apparent individual deviations from the trend.


Northern Russia; Phonemic Split; Post-alveolar fricative; Language Variation

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