Italian vowel apocope description?

Yesterday’s NYT has a dreadful article about how Italian immigrants are “linguistically challenged” and “mangle” the pronunciation of words like prosciutto — the headline is “You Say Prosciutto, I say Pro-SHOOT, and Purists Cringe”.

Can anyone recommend a good description of vowel apocape across Italian dialects, or at least in a few representative cases? Something available online would be best. Thanks in advance.

One thought on “Italian vowel apocope description?

  1. Kristie McCrary Kambourakis

    The dialect that they are referring to in the NY Times article is most probably Neapolitan, however all dialects from the area South of Rome to the northern part of Calabria (this excludes Southern Calabrian and Sicily) have word final [or maybe better described as phonological phrase final] vowel neutralization or loss. The best descriptions of these dialects are usually given in discussions of metaphony. Martin Maiden has worked on this and describes these dialects in his book “Interactive Morphonology, Metaphony in Italy”, London: Routledge.(1991) If you can read Italian the best resource on Italian Dialects is Rholfs, G (1949) Grammatica storica della Lingua Italiana e dei suoi dialetti, Fonetica. Einaudi.

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