The pronunciation of vowels in the place names of Catalan-speaking areas

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This article reviews the interest aroused by the pronunciation of the vowels in the place names of the Catalan-speaking areas. Both Pompeu Fabra and Joan Coromines made glancing references to the phenomenon, but it was not until the creation of Catalan television that Francesc Vallverdú implicitly established three pronunciation rules: respect the local pronunciation in certain cases, respect the pronunciation used in Barcelona for certain tonic vowels and, lastly, respect the various standard accents of Catalan. The articlementions all the place names that have been used over the past quarter of a century, and shows the mixed success achieved by the rules. The last section of the article defends a pronunciation for place names in accordance with the tonic and atonic vowel system of each individual variety. The true polymorphism of the pronunciations is to be found in the validity of each of the various different accents for articulating place names that, locally, may be pronounced with a different vowel system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-138
JournalEstudis Romanics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Compositionality
  • Place names
  • Polymorphism
  • Pronunciation
  • Vowel systems


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