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Stevens, Mary and Hajek, John (2006): Blocking of word-boundary consonant lengthening in Sienese Italian. Some auditory and acoustic evidence. In: Warren, Paul and Watson, Catherine I. (eds.) : Proceedings of the 11th Australian International Conference on Speech Science & Technology. Auckland: University of Auckland. pp. 176-181 [PDF, 547kB]


This paper examines an aspect of Raddoppiamento sintattico (RS), the lengthening of word-initial consonants following certain words e.g. tre [mm]ele ‘three apples’ in Italian. Most phonological accounts claim the phenomenon is predictable and obligatory (e.g. Nespor & Vogel 1986). However, descriptive sources on Italian (e.g. Camilli 1941) have long claimed that RS interacts with and can be blocked by other phenomena operative in natural speech e.g. pausing. In this paper we outline the phonetic details of the RS blocking phenomena and present the results of an auditory and preliminary acoustic analysis of the interaction between RS and these other phenomena based on a corpus of spontaneous speech data.

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