V-to-V assimilation in trisyllabic words in French: Evidence for gradience and locality

Christopher Carignan, Zsuzsanna Fagyal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

We investigate the extent of regressive vowel-to-vowel assimilation in trisyllabic words in French. Sixty existing words were inserted in a carrier sentence, each containing /a/ in word-initial unstressed position, and /a/ or /i/ in word-medial unstressed and word-final stressed positions. Acoustic measurements taken at the midpoint of vowels showed that /a/ in word-initial position was less fronted and more open than /a/ in word-medial position when the vowels were followed by a final front vowel. The degree of fronting of /a/ word-initially was greater when the vowel was followed by a front vowel in both medial and final positions. These results suggest that vowel-to-vowel assimilation in trisyllabic words in French is a gradient and local effect of the final front stressed vowel on the vowel immediately adjacent to it. Key words: anticipatory assimilation; Vowel Harmony; gradience; phonetics; phonology
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRomance Linguistics 2009
Subtitle of host publicationSelected papers from the 39th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), Tucson, Arizona, March 2009
EditorsSonia Colina, Antxon Olarrea, Ana Maria Carvalho
PublisherJohn Benjamins
Pages25-42
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789027287649
ISBN (Print)9789027248336
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Publication series

NameCurrent Issues in Linguistic Theory
Volume315

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