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To learn more about the correspondence between spelling and sounds, see Italian orthography.
- If consonants are doubled after a vowel, they are geminated: all consonants may be geminated except for /z/. In IPA, gemination is represented by doubling the consonant (fatto [ˈfatto], mezzo [ˈmɛddzo]) or by using the length marker ⟨ː⟩. There is also the sandhi of syntactic gemination: va via [ˌva vˈviːa]).
- ⟨z⟩ represents both /ts/ and /dz/. The article on Italian orthography explains how they are used.
- /dz/, /ts/, /ʎ/, /ɲ/ and /ʃ/ are always geminated after a vowel.
- In Tuscany [h], [ɸ], [θ], [ʃ] and [ʒ] are the common allophones of vowel-following single /k/, /p/, /t/, /tʃ/ and /dʒ/.
- The nasals always assimilate their place of articulation to that of the following consonant. Thus, the n in /nɡ/ ~ /nk/ is a velar [ŋ], and the one in /nf/ ~ /nv/ is the labiodental [ɱ], but for simplicity, ⟨m⟩ is used here. A nasal before /p/, /b/ and /m/ is always the labial [m].
- /h/ is usually dropped.
- /θ/ is usually pronounced as [t] in English loanwords, and [dz], [ts] (if spelled ⟨z⟩) or [s] (if spelled ⟨c⟩ or ⟨z⟩) in Spanish ones.
- In Spanish loanwords, /x/ is usually pronounced as [h], [k] or dropped. In German, Arabic and Russian ones, it is usually pronounced [k].
- Italian contrasts seven monophthongs in stressed syllables. Open-mid vowels /ɛ, ɔ/ can appear only if the syllable is stressed (coperto [koˈpɛrto], quota [ˈkwɔːta]), close-mid vowels /e, o/ are found elsewhere (Boccaccio [bokˈkattʃo], amore [aˈmoːre]). Close and open vowels /i, u, a/ are unchanged in unstressed syllables, but word-final unstressed /i/ may become approximant [j] before vowels, which is known as synalepha (pari età [ˌparj eˈta]).
- Open-mid [œ] or close-mid [ø] if it is stressed but usually [ø] if it is unstressed. May be replaced by [ɛ] (stressed) or [e] (stressed or unstressed).
- /y/ is often pronounced as [u] or [ju].
- Since Italian has no distinction between heavier or lighter vowels (like the English o in conclusion vs o in nomination), a defined secondary stress, even in long words, is extremely rare.
- Stressed vowels are long in non-final open syllables: fato [ˈfaːto] ~ fatto [ˈfatto].
- (in Italian) Dizionario italiano multimediale e multilingue d'ortografia e di pronunzia (not based on IPA)
- (in Italian) Dizionario di pronuncia italiana online by Luciano Canepari (based on IPA)
- (in English) "Italian" by Derek Rogers and Luciana d'Arcangeli, in Journal of the International Phonetic Association, Vol. 34, Issue 1, January 2004, pp.117-121 https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025100304001628