XX Открытая конференция студентов-филологов в СПбГУ

Vocalization of velarized lateral [ɫ] in the Germanic variety of Wilamowice — an attempt of areal analysis

Andrzej Stanisław Żak
студент 3 курса
Варшавский университет

14:40 - 15:00

Ключевые слова, аннотация

In the Germanic variety of Wilamowice (Southern Poland) velarized laterals [ɫ] are turned into [w]. This shift is characteristic for some Polish and German dialects, although in the latter it only occurs under certain conditions. Since the Wilamowice variety demonstrates strong Polish influence in many other respects, the change is more likely to be due to contacts with Polish.


In the Germanic variety of Wilamowice, called Wymysorys (used by about 20 people in a single town in southern Poland), velarized laterals [ɫ] (< Middle High German l) are turned into [w] in all positions. This shift occurs in various languages of the world and can be explained by some acoustic similarities between these two sounds (it seems be especially due to their amplitude value and distribution).
The occurence of the velarized lateral consonant in Wymysorys was considered to be a result of Polish influence. However, a similar consonant is found in certain German dialects, but it does not occur in the same positions. The shift [ɫ] > [w] is observed in most Polish dialects (including the standard Polish variety) since the 15th century and also in the dialects surrounding Wilamowice.
It seems that the shift [ɫ] > [w] is a result of a recent and strong Polish influence. The Polish language has influenced Wymysorys for a long time, as far as both vocabulary and grammar are concerned. This conclusion can be confirmed by some older records from Wilamowice, where the sound [ɫ] is still noticeable. Moreover, vocalisation of velarized laterals is also found in other Germanic varieties that came under the influence of adjacent languages.