Typologically exceptional phenomena in Romance phonology

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This chapter on Romance phonology reviews several phenomena that can be qualified as typologically rare. Some of the phenomena examined are rarely documented within Romance but are relatively common in other language families, while others are hardly attested in the world’s languages but are present to some degree in Romance. Their relative frequency across languages and geographical distribution have been assessed with the help of three online databases that are publicly available: PHOIBLE, WALS, and the World Phonotactics Database. In addition, the challenges that these phenomena represent for phonological theory are also briefly considered. The topics examined in this chapter concern (i) phoneme inventories; (ii) syllable structure, with a focus on consonantal clusters; (iii) segmental processes involving glides, nasal place neutralization, lenition and fortition, and metathesis, among others; and (iv) issues at the morphology–phonology interface involving suprasegmentals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Handbook of Romance Linguistics
EditorsAdam Ledgeway, Martin Maiden
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781108580410
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameThe Cambridge Handbook of Romance Linguistics


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