This work investigates metaphony in the Southern Salentino variety of Tricase. In this variety, the mid stressed vowel [ɛ] is raised to [e] when followed by high unstressed vowels -i and -u, while the mid stressed vowels [ɔ] is raised to [o] when followed by high unstressed -u. We integrate an acoustic-articulatory analysis in production with a behavioral-neurophysiological investigation in perception. Our findings show that the metaphonic process of the Tricase variety involves spreading of two distinct features from the unstressed high vowels to the stressed mid vowels: [+ATR] when the triggers is -i and [+High] when the trigger is -u. In parallel, at the perceptual level, we demonstrate that allophones and phonemes are equally computed in early speech processing and encoded in memory representations, and that therefore the allophonic variation generated by metaphony is part of the phonological grammar acquired by the Tricase speakers.
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