The development of Latin post-tonic /Cr/ clusters in select Northern Italian dialects
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This study looks at the disparate developments of Latin post-tonic /Cr/ clusters within several Northern-Italian dialects. Specifically, the five dialects (Piemontese, Piacentino, Genovese, Milanese, and Bolognese) show four separate outcomes: deletion, epenthesis, metathesis, and no change at all. This paper utilizes an Optimality approach, predominantly drawn from Webb and Bradley 2009, Hume 2004, and Wilson 2001, to describe the changes but also incorporates word-frequency (cf. Bybee 2000, 2001; Phillips 2006) to account for the separate outcomes. The results show a distinct pattern of phonological process according to word frequency. High-frequency words favor deletion, mid-frequency words show metathesis, and low-frequency words remain unchanged. Epenthesis, on the other hand, operates as a default change at all frequencies.