A prototype-theoretic model of Southern French

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The features of regional accents are not equally distributed in any speech community: the ideal NORM-speaker produces all of the diatopically marked variants in all situations whereas less traditional speakers are more likely to produce other variants or realize the diatopic variants less frequently. This is reflected in the way that native speakers picture the accent in their mind: they spontaneously imagine the speech of the NORM when they think of a variety; the other versions are also assigned to it, but are considered as less typical. On the basis of a small corpus of Southern French drawn from the project Phonologie du Français Contemporain (PFC), the chapter shows that this phenomenon can adequately be described with the aid of prototype theory.


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