Midland dialects, like Northern, have widespread vowel reduction.
|ä|| ɛ || a || eə |
|a|| ɔ || aə || øə/eu |
|e|| ʌ || e || iə |
|ö|| ʊ || ʊi || yə |
|o|| ɞ || ø || uə |
|i|| ɛ || i || ʌi |
|y/ü|| ø || y || øy |
|u|| ʊ || u || ou |
The southern dialects are characterized by monophthongization of historical diphthongs, as well as a divergent consonant inventory. Many have lost or eroded the fortis/lenis contrast in plosives. Most southern dialects lost the historical length contrast.
The most distinctive of these dialects is that of the southeastern city of Gjerdou [kʲiːˈroː], which is described below.
/pʰ b ts tᵡ d tʃ dʒ kʰ g/
/f v s ʃ χ ʁ h/
/m n r ɬ l j w/
/a ɛ ɜ ɔ e o i ɨ u/
/a: e: ɜ: o:/, though all vowels have length from compensatory lengthening after final vowel loss
/ja: je: jɜ: jo: jɜ jɨ wo:/
jɨ > er, other things happen to r$
Retroflexes merged with alveolars, and palatals shifted forward to become postalveolars.
/tᵡ/ is a reflex of *tʰ; it only contrasts with /ts/ before back vowels. Minimal pairs before aCC/äC, eCC/öCC, ɨ.
tᵡj tj > ts j.
Fortition of stressed /j/ can occur as in Gjerdou, but to [dj].
Sibilant harmony based on stressed syllable.
|ä|| ɛ || a || ja: |
|a|| a || ɜ: || jo: |
|e|| ɜ || e || je: |
|ö|| ɜ || jɜ || jɜ: |
|o|| ɔ || o || wo: |
|i|| jɨ || i || ɛ: |
|y/ü|| ɨ || ɨ || a: |
|u|| ɨ || u || ɔ: |
/p t ts kʲ k ɢ/
/f s χ hʲ h/
/m n r l j w/
/æ ɑ (ɒ) e ə o i ɨ u/
/æː ɒː eː əː oː iː ɨː uː/
ɒ from vowel harmony with ɒ:.
The contrast between alveolar and retroflex consonants was lost, and the fortis plosives fricated or (in the case of coronals) affricated. Gjerdou /ts/ can correspond to any of /tʰ ts tʂʰ tʂ/ in Raston; its /s/ can correspond to any of /s ʂ r̥/; and its /f/ to /pʰ xʷ tʂʰ s/, in the latter two cases from *pr and *sl.
Plosives other than /ts/ (which only occurs in pre-stress position) lenite between short vowels when unstressed. Long vowels can allophonically lengthen surrounding consonants.
As for vowels, Gjerdou Arve shows an unrounding of the front rounded vowels, and the typical Southern diphthongization. Since the Southern dialects often have similar vowel systems with wildly differing diachronics, an account of the Gjerdou vowel correspondences must be provided.
ɒː æː eː oː iː ɨː uː ~ ɒə ɛu eə iə yə uə
Final /r/ dropped and lengthened following vowels. Final /l/ had the same effect, but also lowered them: so Raston [il ʊl ul] correspond to Gjerdou [eː əː oː].
Also of note is the fortition, some of which is evident in the name: 'Gjerdou' in the Raston standard is [jɪˈrɔu̯], beginning with an approximant. /j w/ fortited to [kʲ p] before mid and high vowels sharing their frontness and roundedness. *ʀ fortited before every
stressed vowel, hence the one voiced plosive.
An example follows, with the Raston standard for comparison:
Satte treir stärg en lökar treir y jost.
/ˈsɑ tsə hʲeːɢ elˈlekɒ ts i johʲ/
[ˈsɑzə hʲeːʀ ɛlˈleɣɒː zi joe̯h]
Kes satter stärg en lökar treir y en.
/çʌtɪr çøə̯ʀɪn lʊi̯kʰɐr tʂʌi̯r ʏ en/
[çʌ̰i̯r çøə̯ʀɪ̃ lʊi̯kʰɐ tʂʌi̯r ʏ hen]
Kes satte treir stärg en lökar treir y jost.
/ʃatʰjɨ tse: ʃaʀɜŋ ljakʰɔ ts ɨ joʃ/
[ˈʃatʃɨ je ˈʃaʁɜŋ ˈljækʰɔ zɨ djoʃ]