Italian dialects at the phonology-syntax interface: The case of propagination

Giuseppina Silvestri


In southern Italian dialects propagination, a phonological phenomenon involving vowel alteration via assimilation, is re‑interpreted as a manifestation of the phonology‑syntax interface. Cases of optional occurrence of propagination are linked to distinctive (morpho)syntactic configurations of the Determiner Phrase and, ultimately, to the semantic‑syntactic category of Number. Propagination parallels metaphony in conveying unexpected morphological patterns. More than one phonological phenomenon play a determining role in the grammar of some Italo‑Romance varieties: this calls for an approach that accounts for both the phonological outcomes and the structural configurations.


phonology syntax interface; determiner phrase; agreement; Italo Romance

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