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The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages$
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Adam Ledgeway and Martin Maiden

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199677108

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199677108.001.0001

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(p.647) Chapter 38 Diphthongization
The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages

Martin Maiden

Oxford University Press

This chapter critically addresses some of the most important issues in Romance spontaneous and conditioned diphthongization. It covers ‘closing’ diphthongizations of vowels (notably /e/ and /o/) as a function of stress and syllable structure; the origins and development of new diphthongs arising through vocalization of syllable-final consonants, or through metathesis; the differential maintenance of the Latin diphthong AU and, in particular detail, the controversy surrounding the origins and nature of the ‘opening’ diphthongization of the Romance vowels /ɛ/ and /ɔ/, which are argued to lie in metaphony.

Keywords:   diphthongization, stress, syllable structure, metaphony

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