The phonetic profile of Swedish  

Bruce, G.*, & Engstrand, O.

*Department of Linguistics, Lund University

Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung 59: 12-35.


This article is ‘typlogical’ in two senses: Whereas the first section considers some of the sounds and sound patterns of Swedish from a universal-typological point of view, the second section discusses the considerable phonetic variability observed across the various dialects of the language. It is argued that, with some exceptions, Swedish is typologically fairly mainstream. Exceptions concern particularly the inventory of non-back rounded vowels, voiceless fricatives and partly prosody. The Swedish dialects are found to contain several distinct consonant and vowel types that are not encountered in Standard varieties. It is also found that the intonational structure of the Swedish dialects is fairly complex and diversified. The third section concludes the chapter with some informal observations of possible sound changes in progress.

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