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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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(p.227) 6 In lieu of a conclusion
Vowel Length From Latin to Romance

Michele Loporcaro

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 summarizes some of the main results of the book, while addressing two further topics: the role of foot structure in the modelling of vowel length and the comparison with similar changes in the vowel length system observed in the history of West Germanic languages. On the first front, it is shown that current assumptions on foot structure in generative phonology (first and foremost, strict foot binarity) prevent an effective account of the vowel-length facts under investigation here. It is also demonstrated that while comparison with Germanic is useful, there are some crucial differences in the datasets coming from the two language families, the crucial one being that, for Romance, a unitary open syllable lengthening can be still traced, in spite of all subsequent changes which obscured it to a large extent.

Keywords:   foot structure, open syllable lengthening, West Germanic

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