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  INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL HIATUS IN CONTEMPORARY STANDARD ROMANIAN. AN ACOUSTIC ANALYSIS PhD Student: Oana Niculescu Supervisor: Professor Camelia Stan Thesis defended on the 26 th  September 2018 Distinction: Excellent Doctoral Diploma: 28.12.2018 Our PhD thesis represents a monography of internal and external hiatus in contemporary standard Romanian within the framework of acoustic experimental phonetics. This study describes VV-sequences in Romanian from various perspectives: acoustic, articulatory, statistic, normative, typological. The thesis is structured in 11 chapters, grouped in 4 parts (814 p.), Part 1 ,  Introductory, theoretical and methodological remarks , presents the introduction and the methodological framework, highlighting the objectives, srcinality and novelty of the present study (Chapter 1, Chapter 2). Part 2 ,  Hiatus from a linguistic typological perspective , describes the Romanian vocalic system at the interface between phonetics and phonology, with a modern classification proposal of tautosyllabic vowels and an acoustic comparative study of hiatus and diphthong in Romanian (Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5). Part 3 ,  Hiatus in Romanian , presents hiatus from a normative-usage outlook (Chapter 6, Chapter 7). Part 4 , Semiautomatic analysis of hiatus in an oral spontaneous speech corpus , brings forth the acoustic analysis of internal and external hiatus in Romanian based on formant trajectories and vowel duration (Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11). Chapter 1 (p. 4-7),  Introduction , summarizes the main objectives of the thesis, the novelty of the analysis, the research questions and the structure of the study. Chapter 2  (p. 8-67),  Methodology , depicts the tools used for the quantitative and qualitative analysis of VV-pairs (Praat, R and Rstudio, Kutools, ASR, NVivo). In Chapter 3  (p. 68-97), The typology of vocalic systems  –   criteria relevant in the study of hiatus , the Romanian vocalic system is described from a typological, acoustic and articulatory standpoint, paired with an ultrasound illustration of the 7 cardinal vowels. The theoretical, typological and terminological demarcation of hiatus can be found in Chapter 4  (p. 98-113),  Hiatus classification . The linguistic typological overview of hiatus is  concluded in Chapter 5  (p. 114-173),  Hiatus  –   diphthong distinctions from an acoustic perspective . Chapter 6  (p. 177-253),  Hiatus in Romanian. A phonotactic view , exemplifies the statistical results derived from the selection, inventory and classification of orthoepic internal hiatus derived from a normative dictionary (DOOM2). Chapter 7  (p. 254-291),  Describing the oral corpus gathered from the linguistic inquiry , displays the stages of corpora acquisition used in the acoustic analysis of vocalic pairs. Chapter 8  (p. 292-338),  Hiatus in spontaneous and controlled speech  –   acoustic illustrations , contains a wide number of spectrograms showcasing internal and external hiatus in controlled and connected speech. Chapter 9  (p. 342-371),  Exploring the oral corpus based on the forced alignment of the data , summarizes the technical steps required for the forced alignment of the data recorded. The in-depth acoustic analysis of internal and external hiatus according to formant trajectories (F1 and F2) is presented in Chapter 10  (p. 373-440), while the results derived from duration patterns of VV-sequences according to speaking style are provided in Chapter 11  (p. 441-585). The acoustic behaviour of tautosyllabic vowel pairs is conditioned by the type of discourse. In controlled speech, we observed a higher degree of vowel dispersion correlated with a larger time domain, while in spontaneous speech the vowels tend to centralize, and the overall duration shortens. The thesis ends with Conclusions ,  Bibliography  and  Appendix  (illustrating the codes used in data processing and visualisation, together with extensive statistical information), p. 586-814.
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