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      Front rounded vowels in Azorean Portuguese: A reappraisal

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          Abstract

          The first part of this article investigates the distribution and emergence of front rounded vowels (FRV) in the Portuguese dialect spoken on the Azorean island of São Miguel in light of data taken from the Ethnolinguistic Atlas of the Azores (ALEAç). The analysis confirms previous findings about the distribution of FRV. Additionally, the ALEAç shows that this phenomenon spreads beyond the well-known contexts of stressed positions. FRV also occur in unstressed syllables and the mid-front rounded vowel [ø] alternates with its diphthongised counterparts [øj] and [øw]. This alternation calls for a reflection about the historical and articulatory background of [ø] in Portuguese dialects. The extensive use of FRV opens up further research perspectives in terms of the sociolinguistic significance of the phenomenon.

          The second part of this article focuses on the sociohistorical background of the emergence of FRV in Portuguese dialects. The concept of the feature pool provides a framework for the processes of feature selection in a situation of linguistic contacts such as those preceding the settlement period of the Azores and subsequent contact on the islands. A combination of three different concepts of markedness helps understand why a highly unusual feature like FRV emerged and persists until today.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Contact, the feature pool and the speech community: The emergence of Multicultural London English

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            Variação Linguística no Português Europeu: O Caso do Português dos Açores [Linguistic variation in European Portuguese: The case of Azorean Portuguese]

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              The variable deletion of unstressed vowels in Azorean Portuguese

               D. SILVA (1997)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2397-5563
                Journal of Portuguese Linguistics
                Ubiquity Press
                2397-5563
                18 July 2017
                : 16
                Affiliations
                Freie Universität Berlin, DE
                Article
                10.5334/jpl.179
                Copyright: © 2017 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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