The weight of empty structure: Raddoppiamento Sintattico blocking in Teraman Abruzzese

Diana Passino


This study presents an analysis of the blocking of Raddoppiamento Sintattico, an exter- nal sandhi process yielding geminate consonants in Italian and in some dialects of Ita- ly. This analysis concerns data from the Eastern Abruzzese dialect spoken in Teramo, similarly attested in other Central-Southern dialects, where some cases of RS blocking cannot be explained assuming a syntacting conditioning. The analysis presented cru- cially relies on the presence of empty structure, namely structural positions specified for their consonantal or vocalic value to which no melodic material is linked. Postulat- ing the presence of empty structure succeeds in providing a consistent and motivated phonological account of the cases of blocking of RS that cannot be ascribed to syntac- tic influence on phonology.

Parole chiave

Raddoppiamento Sintattico; empty structure; external sandhi

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