Martin Maiden

in The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages

Published in print June 2016 | ISBN: 9780199677108
Published online August 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191808821 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Guides To The World's Languages


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This chapter critically addresses some of the most important issues in Romance spontaneous and conditioned diphthongization. It covers ‘closing’ diphthongizations of vowels (notably /e/ and /o/) as a function of stress and syllable structure; the origins and development of new diphthongs arising through vocalization of syllable-final consonants, or through metathesis; the differential maintenance of the Latin diphthong AU and, in particular detail, the controversy surrounding the origins and nature of the ‘opening’ diphthongization of the Romance vowels /ɛ/ and /ɔ/, which are argued to lie in metaphony.

Keywords: diphthongization; stress; syllable structure; metaphony

Chapter.  8164 words. 

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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