Published online by Cambridge University Press: 30 September 2019
Although a growing body of literature in formal phonology has espoused the view that phonological knowledge is gradient and probabilistic, this perspective remains somewhat controversial. This paper provides further empirical support for this strand of work: it offers an analysis of the gradient deletion of word-final schwa in Southern French, using a corpus containing 7787 data points obtained from 45 subjects spread over three dialectal areas (the Basque Country, Languedoc and Provence). In addition to confirming or nuancing previous findings about the role of several phonological and non-phonological variables, the study demonstrates the influence of lexical frequency, grammatical category, sonority and the feature specification of the consonant before schwa.
I would like to thank Jacques Durand, Bernard Laks, Chantal Lyche, an associate editor at Phonology and three anonymous reviewers for their helpful and constructive feedback on previous versions of this paper.