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Folia Linguistica

Acta Societatis Linguisticae Europaeae

Editor-in-Chief: Fischer, Olga / Norde, Muriel

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Folia Linguistica
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Folia Linguistica Historica
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The elision of unstressed vowels before the Latin sequence /ka/ in Western Romance languages

Ivan Kotliarov
  • State University – Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg Branch, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Other articles by this author:
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Published Online: 2010-12-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/flih.2010.004

The distribution of French voiced and voiceless reflexes of L. /k/ in intervocalic position before /a/ is an interesting problem of Romance historical phonology that has received little attention so far. This paper analyzes previous attempts to explain that distribution, demonstrates that they are ultimately inadequate, and shows that in order to account for the phenomenon adequately data from other Western Romance languages and particularly the diachronic stability of the vowels preceding /ka/ need to be taken into consideration. A (set of) sound law(s) is proposed, which describes the chronological unfolding of vowel elision, and the geographical distribution of its effects is analyzed. It is demonstrated how the distribution of voiced and voiceless reflexes of L. /k/ before /a/ may be used as a criterion for classifying Western Romance languages.

Keywords:: Western Romance languages; lenition; interdialectal borrowing; elision of unstressed vowels

About the article

Published Online: 2010-12-14

Published in Print: 2010-12-01

Citation Information: Folia Linguistica Historica, Volume 44, Issue Historica vol. 31, Pages 69–88, ISSN (Online) 1614-7316, ISSN (Print) 0168-647X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/flih.2010.004.

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