Phonological Processes In Contemporary Spoken Bulgarian
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This study investigates a number of phonological processes observed in the speech of 24 educated Bulgarian speakers. The speech of all subjects was recorded during 30 minute interviews conducted in 2004. Three speech styles were elicited - reading passage, interview and phone conversation - and later transcribed for analysis. Statistical Variable rule analysis was used to investigate the observed patterns of variation in speech. Different internal and external linguistic variables were found to impact the processes of vowel and consonant deletion in speech. Overall, what this study has established is that although certain socio-linguistic factors such as speaker's sex, regional variety and social relation do affect segment deletion in Bulgarian, the process is more strongly determined by internal linguistic factors such as the voicing of the preceding consonant, stress, linguistic environment and word frequency. A number of other phonological processes such as vowel devoicing and reduction, and consonant lenition and palatalization were also observed in speech and discussed in the study.