Length and weight in Romance

Pavel Iosad, W. Leo Wetzels

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In this chapter we consider the phonological status and patterning of vowel and consonant length and syllabic quantity across Romance varieties. The chapter is divided into two parts. In the first section, we provide an overview of the status of vowel and consonant length in the modern Romance varieties, and describe the diachronic context. Phonologically contrastive vowel length is not a pan-Romance phenomenon, being mostly limited to Gallo-Romance (including the varieties of northern Italy and Alpine Romance), whilst distinctive vowel and/or consonant length is found in a broader range of varieties, primarily in Italy. Diachronic traces of length, however, can be found across most Romance languages. The second section takes up the question of phonological weight and shows that weight-sensitive patterns, primarily relating to the placement of stress, minimality requirements, and prosodic morphology, are pervasive throughout the family, even in languages without phonological length distinctions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManual of Romance phonetics and phonology
EditorsChristoph Gabriel, Randall Gess, Trudel Meisenburg
Publisherde Gruyter
ISBN (Electronic)9783110548679, 9783110550283
ISBN (Print)9783110548358
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Jun 2021

Publication series

NameManuals of Romance linguistics
Publisherde Gruyter


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