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Phonetica. 2010;67(1-2):47-62. doi: 10.1159/000319378. Epub 2010 Aug 26.

Coordinating voicing onset with articulation: a potential role for sensory cues in shaping phonological distinctions.

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL 61820, USA.


In the typical speech of any language, voicing onset and offset are effortlessly coordinated with articulation as part of the intrinsic coordination of sound production. In this paper, we argue that voicing-articulatory coordination patterns could be shaped by sensory feedback during early speech learning and these patterns persist in mature syllable productions. Our experimental results show that voicing onset is closely associated with the peak velocity and peak amplitude of jaw and upper lip movements for VC syllables in adults. This robust coordination in the onset position may function to increase the salience of VC syllables and provide a phonetically natural explanation for vowels to undergo phonological lengthening and to avoid phonological reduction in word-initial onset position.

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