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Abstract

With fewer than twenty remaining speakers, Sark Norman French (Sercquais) is the most vulnerable extant variety of insular Norman. It is therefore essential that the dialect is analysed and documented while native speakers remain. By comparing recent new data with forms recorded in previous decades by two linguistic atlases, this study examines variation and change in the phonology of Sercquais and sketches some areas of interest in the dialect’s lexis. Following Dorian (1994), the study further suggests that not all cases of widespread variation in dying languages should be automatically attributed to the process of obsolescence.