In Italian, consonant-final loan words are reportedly produced with or without a final schwa. This paper reveals that variation in the presence of this schwa is dependent on a number of factors, including the metrical structure of the target word and the voicing of the consonant. Crucially, it is also conditioned by intonation: Schwa is more likely to occur – and is acoustically more prominent – when the intonational tune is complex or rising, as opposed to falling. Schwa epenthesis can thus be seen as facilitating the production of functionally relevant tunes.

The tune drives the text - Schwa in consonant-final load words in Italian

Michelina Savino;Alessandro Caffò;
2015

Abstract

In Italian, consonant-final loan words are reportedly produced with or without a final schwa. This paper reveals that variation in the presence of this schwa is dependent on a number of factors, including the metrical structure of the target word and the voicing of the consonant. Crucially, it is also conditioned by intonation: Schwa is more likely to occur – and is acoustically more prominent – when the intonational tune is complex or rising, as opposed to falling. Schwa epenthesis can thus be seen as facilitating the production of functionally relevant tunes.
978-0-85261-941-4
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/269349
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