Consonant-Final Loanwords and Epenthetic Vowels in Italian

Lori Repetti


The quality of an epenthetic vowel in a particular language may vary depending on segmental and prosodic factors, such as the quality of the surrounding consonants, the quality of other vowels in the word, and the position of the epenthetic vowel within the word. This last factor has received little attention in the literature. I have identified a number of cases in Italian in which the quality of the inserted vowel is determined by its position within the word. Through an in-depth study of loan word integration we see that the choice of the inserted vowel is influenced not only by phonology, but by phonetics and morphology as well.


epenthesis; epenthetic vowel quality; paragoge; Italian

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