15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Phonetic 'Conspiracy'. Low Vowels and Velarized Lateral in Leghorn Italian

Giovanna Marotta, Nadia Nocchi

Università di Pisa, Italy

The Italian spoken in Leghorn shows two peculiar features: a pair of low vowels and a velarized lateral in the context of gemination. These segments share an articulatory gesture, that is the lowering of the tongue dorsum. A phonetic conspiracy, i.e., an articulatory correlation between the degree of lowering in vowels and the velarization degree in the lateral is hypothesized. A set of target-words including the velarized lateral consonant in intervocalic position after stressed vowels with a different degree of height was analysed as produced by three speakers from Leghorn. The data collected confirm the hypothesis for the context relative to the front vowels only: in the velarized lateral segment, F2 values as well as the difference between F2 and F1 decrease progressively in reference to the degree of lowering of the preceding vocalic segment.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Marotta, Giovanna / Nocchi, Nadia (2003): "Phonetic 'conspiracy'. low vowels and velarized lateral in Leghorn Italian", In ICPhS-15, 909-912.