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Diphthongs in São Tomé and Príncipe Portuguese: a study on monophthongization, vocalization and diphthongization

Grant number: 22/12438-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2023
Effective date (End): September 17, 2023
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Portuguese Language
Principal Investigator:Maria Filomena Spatti Sandalo
Grantee:Amanda Macedo Balduino
Host Institution: Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (IEL). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The aim of this project is to analyze the decreasing oral diphthongs in São Tomé and Príncipe Portuguese (PSTP). Therefore, based on processes such as monophthongization, vocalization and diphthongization, we will evaluate the effects of acoustic dispersion and positional prominence on the phenomena quoted. Based on a corpus of spontaneous speech collected in São Tomé and Príncipe, which will be examined acoustically using Praat, this analysis will investigate whether monophthongization, vocalization and diphthongization are sensitive to positional prominence (BECKMAN, 1998; SMITH, 2005; BECKER et al., 2018; EBERLE, 2022) and the acoustic dispersion of the vowel sequence (LADEFOGED, 1982; FLEMMING, 2004; EBERLE, 2022). That is, if prominent positions and vocoid sequences formed by high acoustic dispersion preserve and are favorable contexts for decreasing oral diphthongs formation and, if, on the contrary, positions of low prominence and low dispersion favor monophthongization. Results will be analyzed via restrictions based on the Optimality Theory (PRINCE; SMOLENSKY, 1993), a theory capable of dealing with interaction and conflict among the processes analyzed here. Thus, this study intends to contribute to the understanding of the linguistic situation of São Tomé and Príncipe, expanding the literature devoted to this variety, from the description and phonological analysis of the oral decreasing diphthongs in PSTP. (AU)

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