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Vowel Reduction in Coratino (South Italy): Phonological and Phonetic Perspectives

Jonathan Bucci, Pascal Perrier, Silvain Gerber and Jean-Luc Schwartz
From the journal Phonetica


Vowel reduction may involve phonetic reduction processes, with nonreached targets, and/or phonological processes in which a vowel target is changed for another target, possibly schwa. Coratino, a dialect of southern Italy, displays complex vowel reduction processes assumed to be phonological. We analyzed a corpus representative of vowel reduction in Coratino, based on a set of a hundred pairs of words contrasting a stressed and an unstressed version of a given vowel in a given consonant environment, produced by 10 speakers. We report vowelformants together with consonant-to-vowel formant trajectories and durations, and show that these data are rather in agreement with a change in vowel target from /i e ɛ·ɔ u/ to schwa when the vowel is a non-word-initial unstressed utterance, unless the vowel shares a place-of-articulation feature with the preceding or following consonant. Interestingly, it also appears that there are 2 targets for phonological reduction, differing in F1 values. A “higher schwa” - which could be considered as /ɨ/ - corresponds to reduction for high vowels /i u/ while a “lower schwa” - which could be considered as /ə/ - corresponds to reduction for midhigh


*Jonathan Bucci, GIPSA-lab, CNRS, Université Grenoble Alpes, 11, rue des Mathématiques, Grenoble Campus BP 46, FR-38402 Saint-Martin-d'Hères Cedex (France), E-Mail


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Received: 2017-06-27
Accepted: 2018-06-15
Published Online: 2018-08-07
Published in Print: 2019-07-01

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