This chapter critically addresses some of the most important issues in Romance spontaneous and conditioned diphthongization. It covers ‘closing’ diphthongizations of vowels (notably /e/ and /o/) as a function of stress and syllable structure; the origins and development of new diphthongs arising through vocalization of syllable-final consonants, or through metathesis; the differential maintenance of the Latin diphthong AU and, in particular detail, the controversy surrounding the origins and nature of the ‘opening’ diphthongization of the Romance vowels /ɛ/ and /ɔ/, which are argued to lie in metaphony.
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