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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

On the weakness of syllabic effects in Italian

Pier Marco Bertinetto, Chiara Finocchiaro

Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy

We report on a number of experiments aimed at verifying the role of the syllable as a representational unit in Italian. In experiments 1A-B (Finocchiaro & Bertinetto, 2000), we found a syllabic effect within the syllable induction paradigm. However, the effect disappears when Italian subjects name words (exp. 2) or perform a lexical decision (exp. 3A-B). We interpret these findings as evidence that, in Italian, a syllabic representation emerges only (i) at very early processing stages, (ii) when the task strongly encourages the parsing of the speech signal. In addition, we suggest that syllabic representation has a time course, differing from language to language.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Bertinetto, Pier Marco / Finocchiaro, Chiara (2003): "On the weakness of syllabic effects in Italian", In ICPhS-15, 2397-2400.