Bilingual Frequency in a Favorable Context (BFFC) in the Italian dialectal area

Theoretical preliminaries to the analysis of geminate lateral retroflexion and voiceless plosives aspiration in Antona (MS)




Bilingual Frequency in a Favorable Context, retroflexion, aspiration, usage-based linguistics, dialectology


The paper builds a theoretical framework for the application of the Bilingual Frequency in Favorable Context (BFFC) formula to the peculiar Italian linguistic setting. BFFC was first devised as a usage-based tool to weight the frequency effect of non-varying cognate words against the probability of variation phenomena in bilingual settings. Since Italian dialects are sister languages of the standard variety, speakers can be considered bilingual. However, no dialectal frequency corpora for the extraction of essential BFFC components are available. The paper suggests overcoming this hurdle using subjective frequency estimates and testing BFFC effectiveness through a picture-naming task and acceptability ratings. A critical overview of the phonetic features of interest is also presented, advancing proposals for future analyses.