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In this part of the grammar, we describe the smallest units in spoken language, namely the sounds that are used in talk-in-interaction.

  • Consonants
  • Consonant clusters
  • Vowels
  • Diphtongues
  • Prosody

An important ingredient in conversation is sound. But this is not the only one; also gestures, the use of objects and gaze direction are important parts of communicating (for more, go to Other expressions).

Under the heading "Sounds", we have entries that describe individual sounds in Danish talk-in-interaction, and we also have another entry, prosody, which deals with sound expressions that go beyond the individual sounds (stress, intonation, volume, speed and quality of voice).

Our description is based on sounds that we find in Our data. We don’t describe all sound qualities though. We try to extract the sounds that must be distinguished, in order to make conversations in Danish. In other words, we try to create a conversation-phonology. It will differ from the descriptions of Danish sounds that already exist, among other things because we try to describe what conversation participants can infer at a given point in time in the conversation (for more, go to Our method).

The description of the sounds of conversation is not finished yet but we are working on getting the first description overview ready.

Further reading

Grønnum (2007) is a textbook that teaches Danish phonetics. It is intended for students and is very accessible (Danish).

Grønnum (2005) is a general description of phonetics and phonology with a thorough analysis of Danish sounds and the Danish sound system (Danish).

schwa.dk is a website on pronunciation, especially in Danish. The site is regularly being updated and contains current examples and debates (Danish).

Steensig (2001) has a chapter on ‘prosodic resources’ in talk in interaction (Danish).