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An analysis of the Phonology of the Dukhobor dialect Harshenin, Alex Peter


This study endeavors to provide a descriptive analysis of the phonology of the Dukhobor Dialect and to introduce some of the main features of its inflectional system. The description is drawn against the background of standard Russian of which Dukhobor speech is unquestionably a dialect. Several older generation Dukhobors living in Grand Forks, British Columbia, served as the chief informants. Following a brief introductory chapter regarding the geographical and linguistic contacts of the Dukhobors during their short history, the main body of the text deals with the phonology of their language. Each phoneme is described as articulated, established by minimal pairs and noteworthy variations from the Russian phonological pattern are given. The study is basically one of segmental phonemes. The Dialect's phonemic inventory includes five stressed vowels /a, o, u, i, e/ and three unstressed vowels /a, u, i/. Only in unstressed positions are deviations from the Russian pattern evident. There is a tendency toward moderate jakan’e. Thirty-five consonants comprise the remainder of the list of phonemes: /p, p’ b, b’, t, t’, d, d’, k, k’, m, m’, n, n’, l, l', r, r’, s, s’, ss, z, z’ š, šš, ž, žž, x, h, c, č,ǰ, w, w’, j/. The principal allophones are [i, v, v’, f, f’, g, g’, x’,h’]. A consideration of the behavior of phonemes in word contraction and cluster reduction is included. Wherever it is apparent, the influence of Canadian English is indicated. A brief note on stress completes the main text and an appendix provides a short summary of substantive and verb inflections.

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