Phonological Variation and Prosodic Representation: Clitics in Portuguese-Veneto Contact
Natália Brambatti Guzzo, Guilherme Duarte Garcia
August 2019

In a variety of Brazilian Portuguese in contact with Veneto, variable vowel reduction in clitic position can be partially accounted for by the phonotactic profile of clitic structures. We show that, when phonotactic profile is controlled for, vowel reduction is statistically more frequent in non-pronominal than in pronominal clitics, which indicates that these clitic types are represented in separate prosodic domains. We propose that this difference in frequency of reduction between clitic types is only possible due to contact with Veneto, which, unlike standard BP, does not exhibit vowel reduction in clitic position. Contact thus provides speakers with the possibility of producing clitic vowels without reduction, and the resulting variation is used to signal prosodic distinctions between clitic types. We show that the difference in frequency of reduction is larger for older speakers, who are more proficient in Veneto and use the language regularly.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004726
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Accepted for publication in Journal of Language Contact
keywords: clitics, prosodic representation, language variation, brazilian portuguese, veneto, contact, phonology
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