New parameters for the sociophonetic indexes

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A sociophonetic analysis of the main phonological processes occurring in Tuscan Italian is presented within a global proposal of a new, original set of parameters of variation. After a general discussion on the sociophonetic indexes and the illustration of phonological processes occurring in the local pronunciation of Italian, the parameters of the new model are metaphorically identified as properties of solids, i.e. shape, size, thickness and weight. In the last section of the paper, the sociophonetic parameters proposed are compared with the socially-marked variables proposed by Labov (2001), showing analogies and differences. The advantages derivable from the model proposed are finally discussed, with the explicit acknowledgement of the need for the inspection of the phonological system in sociophonetic analysis.


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