Lenition and phonemic overlap in Rome Italian

José Ignacio Hualde, Marianna Nadeu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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