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Spoken Võro in real time

Variation of the passive past participle marker

The article gives an overview of the variation of the passive past participle markers in spoken Võro. In standard written Võro, two markers are possible: -t is used in the singular and -tU(q) marks the plural. However, the actual spoken language reveals some differences in the use of the markers. It seems that the paradigms of the singular and plural have lost their original designation as both markers are used to mark singular forms. The article aims to reveal a possible language change by analysing the data that has been collected in two different time periods – in 1991 and in 2006. The real-time analysis combined with an analysis of the speakers’ age, gender, level of education, origin, village and network has shown that the use of the formative -tU(q) had become more frequent by 2006. This may indicate that the marker -tU(q) is gaining prominence as the passive past participle marker, being used even in singular. As a consequence the distinction between the singular and plural markers of the passive past participle may be lost.