Faroese vowels and diphthongs
The chapter starts with an overview of Faroese vowels and diphthongs, describing the correlation between the ‘long’ and ‘short’ systems. An element theoretic analysis of monophthongs and diphthongs is presented. The diphthongal system of Faroese is considerably richer than the Icelandic one, and the relation between the systems of open syllable vowels and closed syllable vowels more complex; there is greater dialect variation in Faroese. Hiatus forms raise interesting questions of analysis and in addition to the historical skerpingin (Verschärfung), diphthongization and vowel raising (not properly described before) cause variation in the modern usage. The unstressed vowels of Faroese tend to be reduced, even syncopated. There are thus three types of environment for vocalic nuclei in Modern Faroese: full syllables (open or closed), and restricted syllables. Each of these environments has its own (sub)system, and the number of vocalic oppositions allowed in each environment is different.
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