Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0176-4225
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9714
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This paper is an investigation processes of sound change (i.e., assimilations, dissimilations, elisions) affecting diphthongs and triphthongs derived from Latin mid low vowels in Romance. This analysis is carried out with reference to the Degree of Articulatory Constraint model of coarticulation according to which adaptation effects between consecutive segments in the speech chain, as well as their regressive or progressive direction, are determined by the requirements imposed by speakers upon the articulatory structures. Several findings are consistent with this theoretical framework, namely, assimilatory vowel raising in diphthongs and triphthongs appear to be facilitated by a homorganic onglide in accordance with the prominence of the carryover effects associated with the articulatory gestures for /j/ and /w/, and dissimilatory vowel lowering is not prone to be implemented in rising diphthongs with a (mid) high front vowel perhaps since speakers attempt to avoid vocalic sequences imposing high articulatory demands.


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