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Vowel Length From Latin to Romance$
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Michele Loporcaro

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199656554

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199656554.001.0001

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The development of VL in Romance

The development of VL in Romance

(p.61) 3 The development of VL in Romance
Vowel Length From Latin to Romance

Michele Loporcaro

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 presents an overview of vowel length in the Romance languages and dialects: though none of these has inherited contrastive vowel length from Latin, several have a newly created VL contrast. This occurs nowadays—or can be shown to have occurred in the past—in Northern Romance, whereas the central–southern part of the Romance-speaking world and the eastern and western extremes of Romania europaea (Daco- and Ibero-Romance) never developed such a contrast. The chapter first sketches an account of the diachronic relationship between these different kinds of system. It is suggested that Daco- and Ibero-Romance simply suppressed the allophonic lengthening rule, whereas Northern Romance varieties phonologized its output, thereby creating the novel VL contrast. The chapter concludes with a detailed overview of contrastive vowel length in modern Romance varieties, spanning Northern Italo-, Gallo-, and Rhaeto-Romance.

Keywords:   open syllable lengthening, Ibero- and Daco-Romance, contrastive vowel length

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