Syllable merger

Authored by: José Ignacio Hualde

The Routledge Handbook of Spanish Phonology

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  December  2019

Print ISBN: 9780415785693
eBook ISBN: 9781315228112
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315228112-9

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Abstract

This chapter describes the reduction of lexically heterosyllabic vowel sequences in Spanish. At the lexical level, word-internal vowel sequences may be syllabified as either tautosyllabic (diphthong) or heterosyllabic (hiatus). Postlexically, hiatus, both inside words and across word boundaries, may be avoided by merger of heterosyllabic vowels in a single syllable. However, not all sequences undergo merger or may do so with equal readiness. Syllable count in poetry provides useful evidence regarding which specific types of sequences may be reduced to a single syllable. Both the factors that have been claimed to affect the likelihood of merger and the phonetic realization of merged sequences are examined.

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