Stressed /e/ Centralization into Schwa and Related Mid Vowel Developments in Catalan and Elsewhere in the Romania

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Abstract

© The author 2019. Transactions of the Philological Society © The Philological Society 2019 The present study seeks to throw some light on the relative chronology of the changes /e/ > [ə] and /ɛ/ > [e] in stressed position in Old Eastern Catalan by analysing in detail the development of the stressed mid front vowels in dialects of other Romance linguistic domains in which stressed /e/ has also shifted to a mid central vowel or else to a (mid) low vowel generated possibly from an earlier schwa. Data from Ladin Rhaetoromance, Occitan and perhaps Francoprovençal dialects suggests that a chain shift occurred in Old Eastern Catalan by which /ɛ/ developed into [e] in order to fill the gap left by the centralization of stressed /e/ into [ə]. The paper also holds that the centralization of stressed /e/ into schwa must have operated after the reduction of unstressed /e/ and/or /a/ into schwa given that unstressed schwa co-occurs with stressed schwa within the same word as a general rule in the world's languages while the presence of unstressed schwa does not imply the existence of stressed schwa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-316
JournalTransactions of the Philological Society
Volume117
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

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