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The pretonic mid-vowels in the variety of the inland of São Paulo State

Grant number: 09/09133-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2009
Effective date (End): May 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Linguistic Theory and Analysis
Principal Investigator:Luciani Ester Tenani
Grantee:Márcia Cristina do Carmo
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências, Letras e Ciências Exatas (IBILCE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São José do Rio Preto. São José do Rio Preto , SP, Brazil


This project aims to explain the phonological behaviour of the pretonic mid-vowels in the variety of São Paulo State, more specifically of the region of São José do Rio Preto (SP). These vowels are subject to vowel raising, a variable phenomenon in which the mid-vowels /e/ and /o/ are pronounced, respectively, as the high vowels [i] and [u], for instance in "p[i]queno" ("small"/"little") and "c[u]sturando" ("sewing"). Two processes are related to vowel raising: (i) vowel harmony, in which the high vowel in the following syllable triggers the phenomenon, for example in "an[i]mia" ("anemia") and "gas[u]lina" ("gasoline"); and (ii) vowel reduction, generally related to the place of articulation of adjacent consonant(s), for instance in "s[i]nhora" ("lady") and "c[u]meçamos" ("we start"/"started"). The corpus of this research consists of interviews with spontaneous speech samples taken from IBORUNA database (ALIP Project - UNESP/IBILCE - FAPESP - 03/08058-6). The phonological analysis of the data is based on the theoretical framework of Optimality Theory. This theory, developed in the 90's, conceives the existence of a set of violable constraints in the Universal Grammar. Therefore, with the analysis of the vowel raising of the pretonic mid-vowels in Paulista Portuguese, this PhD research aims to contribute to: (i) the theoretical discussion about the standard or non-standard approach of Optimality Theory which best explains data of intra-dialectal variation related to the pretonic mid-vowels; and (ii) the characterization of the vowels in Brazilian Portuguese, since this study is part of the National Project PROBRAVO.

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
CARMO, Márcia Cristina do. As vogais médias pretônicas na variedade do interior paulista. 2013. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp). Instituto de Biociências Letras e Ciências Exatas. São José do Rio Preto São José do Rio Preto.

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