Title

Variable Vowel Metaphony in Asturian: An Acoustic Analysis

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2019

Publisher

Karger

Source Publication

Phonetica

Source ISSN

0031-8388

Abstract

Backgr ound/Aims: Vowel metaphony, a type of vowel harmony observed in Asturian, is characterized by the raising and/or centralization of stressed mid or low vowels in the presence of a high vowel in word-final position. Descriptions of Asturian metaphony have been based on data collected using exclusively auditory judgments. This study is the first to document the phenomenon acoustically. Methods: The data were collected using a word elicitation task and sociolinguistic interviews of 40 speakers from the 2 geographic areas in which metaphony has been observed. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of vocalic distributions were performed. Results: The results of the analyses show that: (1) while metaphony still occurs in Asturian, its implementation is highly variable; (2) metaphonized variants remain distinct from other vowels; and (3) the traditional distinction between 2 areas of metaphony cannot be maintained. Conclusion: This study provides the first acoustic characterization of vowel metaphony in Asturian, offering empirical evidence on which to build theoretical approaches to vowel metaphony.

Comments

Phonetica, Vol. 76, No. 1 (January 2019): 31-54. DOI.

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