"No duration without intonation": The interplay of lexical and post-lexical durational differences

Davide Garassino, Francesco Cangemi


Current research in typology has shown that durational effects at the phonetic level can have a profound impact on vowel length. Quantity languages, for instance, often display constraints on final lengthening in order to maintain contrasts between short and long vowels. We contribute to this typology by considering two closely-related Italo-Romance varieties, Genoese and Ventimigliese, which differ in one crucial feature: vowel length. According to the literature, quantity contrasts should be well-attested in Genoese but not in Ventimigliese. An acoustic analysis based on the duration of stressed syllables suggests that the two varieties may be different not so much in vowel length as in their intonation. Unlike Genoese, Ventimigliese displays longer syllables in the utterance-internal than in the final position. This could be due to the pressure of the Ventimigliese utterance-internal position to adjust to a higher F0. It remains to be seen whether this is due to differences in tone structure. All in all, we claim that only a comprehensive study of prosody and intonation can enlighten durational patterns in language typology.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-18

Cite as: Garassino, D., Cangemi, F. (2020) "No duration without intonation": The interplay of lexical and post-lexical durational differences. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 86-90, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-18.


@inproceedings{Garassino2020,
  author={Davide Garassino and Francesco Cangemi},
  title={{"No duration without intonation": The interplay of lexical and post-lexical durational differences}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={86--90},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-18},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-18}
}