1.Introduction and overview 17
17 1. Introduction and overview 1.1. Introduction and rationale for the investigation of RS This book describes a first acoustic phonetic investigation into Raddoppiamento sintattico, a process of word-initial consonant length- ening, in naturally occurring spontaneous speech. Essentially the aim is to provide detailed phonetic information about the mechanisms of RS and how it interacts with other phenomena operative in natural speech (e.g. pausing, intervocalic lenition processes). In doing so, we will see that the facts of RS are not straightforward, not only in terms of where it applies and what happens when it does, but also what motivates the process in the first place. Raddoppiamento sintattico (hereafter RS) refers to the post-lexical lengthening in Italian of word-initial consonants following certain words, known as RS-triggers, e.g. a [k:]asa ‘at home’. The phenomenon occurs with differing distributions in most Central and Southern varieties of Italian, including the Standard language. Importantly, at least for Central varieties spoken in Tuscany and much of Lazio there are traditionally considered to be two types of RS: stress-conditioned RS and unstressed RS, both of which are analysed in the present investigation. These two types are shown in Table 1.1. RS type Triggered by Example Stress-conditioned All polysyllabic oxytones farò [b:]ene ‘I’ll do well’ All stressed monosyllables sto [b:]ene ‘I’m good’ Unstressed Some unstressed monosyllables a [l:]ui ‘to him’ Some penult. stressed polysyllables come [t:]e ‘like you’ Table 1.1. The two kinds of RS in Standard Italian, as traditionally described (e.g. Loporcaro...
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