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Hajek, John and Stevens, Mary and Webster, Georgia (2007): Vowel duration, compression and lengthening in stressed syllables in Italian. International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, 6. - 10. August 2007, Saarbrücken.
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Abstract

The focus of this study is on temporal organization, specifically of vowel duration, in stressed syllables in (standard) Italian. We investigate possible compression effects on the duration of stressed vowels according to wordposition (final, penult and antepenult) and syllable type (open vs. closed) in this language. Our results show shortening in some contexts, e.g. closed syllables, and antepenultimate position, but not in all tested contexts. Compression effects do not surface in a fully linear fashion, with complications arising in word-final position where competing tendencies towards lengthening and shortening are found to co-occur. We consider the implications of our results for phonological descriptions of Italian.