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Un esperimento di matched-guise in Toscana

Author(s): Silvia Calamai | Irene Ricci

Journal: Studi Linguistici e Filologici Online
ISSN 1724-5230

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 63;
Date: 2005;
Original page

The perception of temporal and timbric changes in stressed vowels has been investigated by means of the matched-guise technique. Students of three different Tuscan towns were presented with orally produced sentences in two different speech conditions (read and semispontaneous speech). They had to make a decision about the speaker’s town – “Florence”, “Leghorn”, “Pisa”. Thus, we combined perceptual dialectology together with acoustic phonetics by using vocal synthesis techniques; this research extends in an original way the investigation of Tuscan listeners’ abilities, by taking advantage of the available data in the acoustic domain. We considered the asymmetric stressed vowel system – i.e. the velarization of /a/ and the general lowering of the stressed mid-low vowels – in the varieties of Leghorn and Pisa. The acoustic features involved are not restricted to the lowering of F1 of the vowels mentioned above: a longer duration and a more extensive f0 modulation are also present. These phenomena are a sort of shibboleth for Tuscan people, as they represent a social marker, signalling group and geographical identity. In the read speech condition, students seem to be more sensitive to frequential changes with respect to temporal changes. In the semispontaneous speech condition the longest vowels are almost always perceived as being uttered by a Leghorn speaker. Both in the read and in the semispontaneous speech condition the vowel // seems to be more easy to label from a geographic point of view with respect to //.

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