Vowel Length From Latin to Romance

Hardcover | August 30, 2015

byMichele Loporcaro

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This book investigates the changes that affected vowel length during the development of Latin into the Romance languages and dialects. In Latin, vowel length was contrastive (e.g. pila "ball" vs. pila "pile", like English bit vs. beat), but no modern Romance language has retained that samecontrast. However, many non-standard Romance dialects (as well as French, up to the early 20th century) have developed novel vowel length contrasts, which are investigated in detail here.Unlike previous studies of this phenomenon, this book combines detailed historical evidence spanning three millennia (as attested by extant texts) with extensive data from present-day Romance varieties collected from first-hand fieldwork, which are subjected to both phonological and experimentalphonetic analysis. Professor Loporcaro puts forward a detailed account of the loss of contrastive vowel length in late Latin, showing that this happened through the establishment of a process which lengthened all stressed vowels in open syllables, as in modern Italian casa ['ka:sa]. His analysis hasimplications for many of the most widely-debated issues relating to the origin of novel vowel length contrasts in Romance, which are also shown to have been preserved to different degrees in different areas. The detailed investigation of the rise and fall of vowel length in dozens of lesser-known (non-standard) varieties is crucial in understanding the development of this aspect of Romance historical phonology, and will be of interest not only to researchers and students in comparative Romancelinguistics, but also, more generally, to phonologists and those interested in historical linguistics beyond the Latin-Romance language family.

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This book investigates the changes that affected vowel length during the development of Latin into the Romance languages and dialects. In Latin, vowel length was contrastive (e.g. pila "ball" vs. pila "pile", like English bit vs. beat), but no modern Romance language has retained that samecontrast. However, many non-standard Romance di...

Michele Loporcaro is Professor of Romance Linguistics at the University of Zurich. He held previous positions at the Universities of Padova and Cosenza, in addition to visiting professorships in several universities in Europe and the USA and visiting fellowships at Magdalen College Oxford (2012) and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:August 30, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019965655X

ISBN - 13:9780199656554

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Vowel length in the Latin-Romance transition3. The development of VL in Romance4. The analysis of Northern Romance vowel length5. Dialect variation and comparative reconstruction6. In lieu of a conclusionAppendix: Language and dialect area maps