Vowel length in two dialects of Liguria


  • Davide Garassino Romanisches Seminar, Universität Zürich
  • Michele Loporcaro Romanisches Seminar, Universität Zürich
  • Stephan Schmid Phonetisches Laboratorium, Universität Zürich




vowel length, Ligurian dialects, sound change


In this paper, we offer an experimental phonetic analysis of vowel length in two dialects of Liguria, those of Genoa and Porto Maurizio. Although Ligurian dialects show a high degree of uniformity, they nonetheless display differences, notably in the distribution of vowel length. This study, based on read speech data collected through dedicated fieldwork, shows some asymmetries in the phonetic implementation of vowel length and its correlates in the two dialects: in Genoese, the phonetic manifestation of the vowel length contrast is more stable than in Portorino, which is in keeping with the fact that the latter is part of Western Ligurian, a subdivision for which contrastive vowel length has been previously reported to be losing ground.



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