Lenition and phonemic overlap in Rome Italian

José Ignacio Hualde, Marianna Nadeu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The purpose of this paper is to offer acoustic evidence for an unusual phonemic contrast in Rome Italian. In our corpus, about half of all tokens of intervocalic /p t k/ are realized with uninterrupted voicing (both word-internally and across word boundaries). Furthermore, the voiced realizations of /t/ and /k/ do not significantly differ from /d/ and /g/ in duration and/or degree of constriction (as acoustically determined). Phonemic contrast is maintained under substantial phonetic overlap. Regarding the labials, duration keeps /p/ and /b/ apart. Contrary to the universal tendency, it is /b/ that is considerably longer, due to complex diachronic facts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-242
Number of pages28
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Linguistics and Language


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