SRPP: Stress-conditioning from diachrony to synchrony: The case study of velar palatalization

Maria Giavazzi (DEC, ENS)
16 December 2022, 14h0015h30
Salle Langevin (1er étage)
29 rue d'Ulm
75005 Paris

Prosodically prominent positions within the word are privileged, manifesting the positional maintenance of contrasts otherwise neutralized and the resistance to processes applying elsewhere (Beckman 1998). For instance, consonantal contrasts are preferentially realized in stressed position, but they may be reduced in unstressed position (González 2013). Contrastively, these positions are also the preferred target for a small class of frequent processes, e.g., consonants are often lengthened in pre-tonic and post-tonic position (Lavoie 2001, Smith 2002). These two prima facie contradictory behaviors can be captured by a unified phonetically grounded account of stress conditioning (Giavazzi 2010). In this talk I will focus on the case study of velar palatalization in Italian. First, I will present results regarding the diachronic development of this process in Old Italian. Second I will present results from two experiments investigating prominence enhancement at the phonetic level, looking at the acoustic effects of enhancement and its perceptual consequences on the discrimination of consonantal contrast.

Selected references:
Beckman, J. 1998 Positional faithfulness. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Giavazzi M. The phonetics of metrical prominence and its consequences for segmental phonology: Masachusetts Institute of Technology; 2010.
González C. A typology of stress-and foot-sensitive consonantal phenomena. Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca » Julio de Urquijo » 2013; 47(2): 87-210.
Lavoie LM. Consonant strength: Phonological patterns and phonetic manifestations: Psychology Press; 2001.
Smith J. Phonological Augmentation in Prominent Positions. Amherst: University of Massachusetts 2002.