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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Segments, Syllables and Tonal Alignment: A Study on Two Varieties of Italian

Barbara Gili Fivela (1), Michelina Savino (2)

(1) University of Lecce, Italy
(2) University of Bari, Italy

Aim of this paper is to investigate the alignment characteristics of the contrastive peak accent in two varieties of Italian, with respect to a number of factors. Results of statistical analysis show that tonal alignment is affected by syllabic structure, and therefore by the related phonetic changes, but when keeping syllabic structure unvaried and changing the phonetic nature of the consonants such influence is still evident. However, elbows temporization with respect to the peak does not appear to vary in relation to syllable manipulation. This seems to support the interpretation of tonal targets within the same pitch accent as being realized at a "given distance" from the starred tone and not to be anchored to points in the segmental chain. Results show that also nuclear syllable position, and syllable structure of pre- and post-nuclear syllables play a role in tonal alignment variation, even though sometimes differently in the two varieties.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Gili Fivela, Barbara / Savino, Michelina (2003): "Segments, syllables and tonal alignment: a study on two varieties of Italian", In ICPhS-15, 2933-2936.