V. 50 N. 1 (2012)

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

Diana Passino
Dipartimento di Studi Linguistici ed Orientali - Università di Bologna - Via Zamboni 33 - 40126 Bologna (Italy)

Pubblicato 2012-01-16

Parole chiave

  • Raddoppiamento Sintattico,
  • empty structure,
  • external sandhi


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.