Silke Hamann & Francesc Torres-Tamarit


Merger in Eivissan Catalan: an acoustic analysis of the vowel systems of young native speakers

Editorial: Phonetica (De Gruyter)
Data de publicació: 16 juny 2023

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The vowel system of Catalan has been the focus of many studies, though work on the varieties spoken on the island of Eivissa (Ibiza) are scarce, with a single mention of the possible merger of the mid back vowels /o, ɔ/ (Torres Torres, Marià. 1983. Aspectes del vocalisme tònic eivissenc. Eivissa 14. 22–23). The present article provides the first acoustic analysis of the vowel inventory of 25 young native speakers of Eivissan Catalan, with a focus on the realisations of stressed /ə, ɛ/, and the back mid vowels /o, ɔ/. We employed Pillai scores (Hay, Jennifer, Paul Warren & Katie Drager. 2006. Factors influencing speech perception in the context of a merger-in-progress. Journal of Phonetics 34. 458–484) to compare the possibly merged pairs /ə, ɛ/ and /o, ɔ/ to the fully-contrasting neighbouring pairs /e, ɛ/ and /o, u/. Our results show that all participants had considerable overlap of stressed /ə/ and /ɛ/, and all but one had considerable overlap of the back mid vowels, while the fully contrastive pairs (/e, ɛ/ and /o, u/) showed almost no overlap.