What about ung – is it pronounced /ɵŋ/ or /ʉŋ/? (I’m using your symbols and terms, even though I’m not sure what some of them mean in advanced phonology I.e., is ng considered a digraph like sk?
Det var så lite
In most accents and dialects in Sweden, the pair is actually [ʉ̟ː] - [ɵ], that is the long version of the sound is almost as fronted as /ʏ/, and the main difference between it and /yː/ lies in the type of rounding, while the short version is a central sound, and almost as open as schwa.
The phonemes are usually written /ʉː/ and /ɵ/ respectively, and in Finland that's pretty much their exact pronunciation as well.
Yes, ⟨ng⟩ is a digraph and stands for /ŋ/. ⟨sk⟩ on the other hand is only a digraph before soft vowels - skära /ɧɛːra/ - while before hard vowels it's not - ska /skɑː/ - instead you need the trigraph ⟨skj⟩ there - skjul /ɧʉːl/
Woods wrote:I also thought that sköterskor would have a /ʃ/ – /’ɧøːtɛʃkʊr/ or /’xøːtɛʃkʊɾ/ as somebody presented it to me. Are these /-rs-/ and /-ʂ-/ standard pronunciation? And what exactly is /ʂ/?
[ʂ] is a voiceless retroflex fricative, it's pretty much [ʃ] pronounced a bit further back in the mouth and with the tip of your tongue bent backwards a little. The same goes for [ʈ] in relation to [t], [ɖ] to [d] and [ɳ] to [n].
Down south where they have an uvular /r/ and in Finland they don't assimilate /rs/ into [ʃ] or [ʂ], so when writing the phonemes rather than phones you've got to keep them separate. That's also the reason why you write /ɧ/ rather than anything else, since the actual realisation of that phoneme varies a lot throughout the Swedish-speaking area, down south it's always [x] or something close to it, around here it's that in some positions and [ɕ~ʃ~ʂ] in others, up north it's always [ʂ], and in Finland the standard pronunciation is [ɕ~ʃ].
The way the standard accent is described, /rs/ is assimilated into [ʂ] rather than [ʃ], but to be honest, I doubt anyone south of Sundsvall would hear the difference, and the exact sound depends on which ones come before or after anyway, borste is [bɔʂːʈɛ] since because of the assimilated /rs/ the /t/ needs to be retroflex, [ʈ], and that makes [ʂ] the only option, while fors is usually [fɔʃː] since there's no other retroflexes around so you don't have to pronounce the assimilated /rs/ that far back.
Woods wrote:What? Was it more common to hear /ɛr/ than /ʊr/ before the spread of the standard language? And why would it be chosen then?
Yes it was, and it still is among people over 50 or so, and in many parts of the country it's still the one most kids use, but it's not the most densely populated areas.
And it is like this because the standard accent was modelled on the written language rather than the other way around, and the -or ending was there because it's a remnant of the old -ur suffix that you find in Faroese and Icelandic. It might exist in a few dialects still, but none of which the written standard was modelled upon, in it it's there for purely etymological reasons.
Not that there is such a thing as an official standard accent these days though, but there is a sort of media one that's thought of like it, and it shares a lot of traits with that old standard one that they tried to force onto everyone for about a century.
Woods wrote:In Danish and standard Norwegian (as far as I know) it’s nice there’s only one ending (-er), whereas in Swedish there are so many (or, ar, er) and that’s so confusing.
That's Bokmål only, Nynorsk has -ar too, but it's used in a much more regular manner than in Swedish, I'll give you that. Danish has -e and -er, and a quick look says there are rules for when to use what, but that there are also quite a few exceptions.
The thing is, it's not that hard to know when to use -or, first of all the noun has to be common gender, and except for in a few cases (e.g. ros - rosor) they all end in -a. Hylla - hyllor, råtta - råttor, jacka - jackor, mössa - mössor... This works both ways, when a noun is common gender, has two syllables and end in -a, you can be sure its plural is -or.
There is an equivalent for -ar: common gender nouns that have two syllables and end in -e. Kudde - kuddar, måne - månar... But yeah, contrary to -or there are many more nouns that don't follow this pattern but end in -ar nevertheless, like säng - sängar, stig - stigar, häst - hästar...