Betacismo e altre alternanze in dialetti italiani meridionali. Il rafforzamento è l'opposto della lenizione?

Laura Bafile


Lenition and strengthening are often considered to be the opposite results of a same process affecting, in opposite directions, segmental strength. The notion of strength, however, far from being a theoretical entity, is commonly used to describe properties and processes of different nature. Furthermore, on closer examination, lenition and fortition appear to be different phenomena, frequent, “spontaneous”, truly phonological the former, rare and often morphologised the latter. With reference to some word-initial consonant alternations of southern Italian dialects, the paper discusses the nature of lenition and strengthening, proposing that, when not due to the spreading of a feature, strengthening is determined by structural properties of the phonological domain rather than by changes in the melodic content of segments. In a wider perspective of phonology as a component of language, these phenomena of consonant strengthening can be considered part of a strategy for increasing the modulation of the carrier signal and therefore enhancing perceptibility.

Parole chiave

lenizione; rafforzamento; sonorità; struttura fonologica; percezione linguistica

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ISSN: 1826-803X

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