Intonation: Theory, Models, and Applications

Athens, Greece
September 18-20, 1997


Focus, Phrasing and Boundary Phenomena in Italian Read Speech

Mariapaola D'Imperio (1), Barbara Gili Fivela (2)

(1) The Ohio State University, Department of Linguistics, Columbus, OH, USA
(2) Scuola Nonnale Superiore - Laboratorio di Linguistica, Pisa, Italy

One of the phenomena generally used in defining the Phonological Phrase (cp) domain is Raddoppiamento Sintattico (RS), a sandhi rule of Central and Southern varieties of Italian. The application or lack of this rule has also been invoked as evidence for prosodic boundary insertion due to focus restructuring. Our study explores the relationship between phrasing induced by focus and phrasing generated by the Prosodic Phonology component. Though RS is indeed blocked by focus, as predicted by the theory, the prosodic break created is different in strength compared to phonological phrase boundaries that are not produced by focus restructuring. We also show that in another variety of Italian, where RS is not found, it is still possible to observe comparable boundary strength differences.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  D'Imperio, Mariapaola / Gili Fivela, Barbara (1997): "Focus, phrasing and boundary phenomena in Italian read speech", In INT-1997, 91-94.