Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Laboratory Phonology

Journal of the Association for Laboratory Phonology

Ed. by Cole, Jennifer

IMPACT FACTOR 2015: 0.667
Rank 85 out of 179 in category Linguistics in the 2015 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report/Social Sciences Edition

See all formats and pricing
More options …

Pre-aspiration, quantity, and sound change

Mary Stevens / Ulrich Reubold
Published Online: 2014-11-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lp-2014-0015


Geminate voiceless stops /pː tː kː / have been recently found to show optional pre-aspiration under certain circumstances in spontaneous and read Italian speech. This paper investigates the impact of pre-aspiration on the perception and production of contrastive quantity, e.g., fato ‘fate’ vs. fatto ‘done’. It tests the hypothesis that synchronic variability involving pre-aspiration, together with concomitant stop closure shortening, may be setting in motion a sound change in Italian ultimately leading to de-gemination, i.e., /pː tː kː / > [hp ht hk] > /p t k/. The proposed sound change would be perceptually driven (Ohala 1981, 1993) and comes about via listener association of pre-aspiration with the preceding vowel rather than the oral closure. The hypothesis is only partially supported by the experimental results. Perception data show that Italians perceive pre-aspirated stops as shorter than plain stops of analogous overall duration. However, production data show that pre-aspiration in Italian does not in fact involve concomitant oral closure shortening.

Keywords: geminate; pre-aspiration; sound change; Italian; acoustic

About the article

Published Online: 2014-11-29

Published in Print: 2014-11-01

Citation Information: Laboratory Phonology, Volume 5, Issue 4, Pages 455–488, ISSN (Online) 1868-6354, ISSN (Print) 1868-6346, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lp-2014-0015.

Export Citation

©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Munich/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in