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Open Access Greek Dialect Vowel Systems, Vowel Dispersion Theory, and Sociolinguistic Typology

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Greek Dialect Vowel Systems, Vowel Dispersion Theory, and Sociolinguistic Typology

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Vowel dispersion theory supposes that vowels are distributed in vowel space so as to maximise contrasts. Using a sociolinguistic-typological approach, this paper hypothesises that this supposition, while supported by a great deal of evidence in general, may be more true of some language varieties than others. In particular it may be more true of standardised varieties. This suggestion is discussed using evidence from nonstandard dialects of Greek which appear to adhere to vowel dispersion theory less well than Standard Greek.


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