Propagation and preservation of rounded back vowels in Lucanian and Apulian varieties

Leonardo M. Savoia, Benedetta Baldi


This article addresses the descriptive and theoretical aspects of the relation between the cavity properties of vowels and consonants. This relation is studied on the basis of some vocalic harmonizing processes depending on the adjacency between [u] and a velar (or labial) consonant in the domain of the stressed nucleus. Propagation of /u/ and preservation of /u/ in pre-tonic position in Southern Italian varieties provide the crucial testing ground for our analysis; one last process we investigate is the distribution of the metaphonic outcomes in a Salento dialect. The nature of phonological representations is the other question we are concerned with. This point has been recently explored specifically in relation to the explanatory role of the structure and its relation with the melodic content of segments. Our proposal is that the phonological structure of the string corresponds in a direct and exhaustive way to the elementary melodic properties of the segments.


Harmonizing Processes; Phonological Theory; Vowel-consonant Adjacency

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