image of Variant patterns of sibilant debuccalization in Camuno
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Some varieties of Camuno, an Eastern Lombard variety spoken in Valcamonica, Italy, show clear evidence of what appears to be an unconditioned sound change of , where had [s] and [θ] variants (Bonfadini 1995a; Cresci 2014). However, neighboring varieties in the upper parts of the valley retain inherited and, in at least one village, Cerveno, debuccalization is limited to intervocalic position. In this study, we attempt to explain dialect variation in Camuno in terms of -debuccalization as a lenition process within the general framework of Evolutionary Phonology (Blevins 2004a, 2006, 2015) building on the typology established by Ferguson (1990). The probability of articulatory undershoot is greatest in the V_V environment, and all dialects with show the sound change in this context. In medial clusters like , where there is articulatory overlap and longer sustained constriction, articulatory undershoot is less likely, and S is most likely to be maintained, as it is in Cerveno. A treatment of S > h as lenition implies that [s] and [θ] were produced with spread vocal folds in languages where this sound change has been observed. Here we offer additional evidence for aspiration as an active feature in Camuno phonology and suggest possible origins of this feature during the long period of contact with Longobardic. Another central issue explored in this study are phonetic factors that might differentiate intervocalic s > h from s > h that originates in the syllable coda, as in many varieties of Spanish.


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