Is vowel lengthening in Italian allophonic or prosodic?

Supervisor: Prof Stephan Schmid


The traditional phonological analysis of Italian states that stressed vowels are always lengthened if they occur in word-internal open syllables. On the other hand, it has been claimed that this rule only applies under sentence accent. This raises an empirical question …

Aim and Purpose

The candidate will collect a carefully designed corpus, collecting both read and spontaneous speech from Italian expats in Zurich. An acoustic analysis of vowel durations in different prosodic positions should allow to answer the empirical question.


Both passive and active knowledge of Italian.