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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Short vs. Long and/or Abruptly vs Smoothly Cut Vowels. New Perspectives on a Debated Question

Arianna Uguzzoni (1), Gabriele Azzaro (1), Stephan Schmid (2)

(1) University of Bologna, Italy
(2) University of Zurich, Switzerland

This contribution reviews current issues related to the distinction between quantity and syllable-cut languages. The dichotomy is first illustrated by means of some major European languages, mainly Standard German, and then applied to some data from Frignanese, an Italo-Romance variety spoken in Northern Italy. In this dialect vowel duration contrasts are accompanied by some minor quality differences. We argue that Frignanese shares some of the typical properties of a syllable-cut language, for example the fact that vowel duration contrasts crucially depend on word stress. Finally, some new experimental approaches to the close/loose contact dichotomy are briefly presented, which serve the search for physical and physiological correlates on both the acoustic and the articulatory side.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Uguzzoni, Arianna / Azzaro, Gabriele / Schmid, Stephan (2003): "Short vs. long and/or abruptly vs smoothly cut vowels. new perspectives on a debated question", In ICPhS-15, 2717-2720.