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J Acoust Soc Am. 2011 Mar;129(3):1149-52. doi: 10.1121/1.3533722.

Vowel-related tongue movements in speech: straight or curved paths? (L).

Author information

1
Department of Logopedics, Phoniatrics and Audiology, Clinical Sciences, Lund, Lund University, University Hospital, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden. lofqvist@haskins.yale.edu

Abstract

This paper examines tongue movements between the two vowels in sequences of vowel-labial consonant-vowel, addressing the question whether the movement is a straight line or a curved path. Native speakers of Japanese and Italian served as subjects. The linguistic material consisted of words where the bilabial consonant was either long or short. The inclusion of words with different consonant lengths was motivated by earlier findings that the tongue movement is often longer when the consonant is long, which may be due to a more curved movement path. Tongue movements were recorded using a three-transmitter magnetometer system. To assess the movement path, the movement magnitude was calculated in two ways, as a straight line, the Euclidean distance, and as the actual path, obtained by summing the individual Euclidean distances between successive samples from movement onset to offset. The ratio between the path and the Euclidean distance is 1 when the movement is a straight line and greater than 1 when the path is curved. Results show that in virtually all 21 cases examined the ratio was very close to 1 and in most cases 1.2 or less. There was no reliable influence of consonant length on the ratio.

PMID:
21428476
PMCID:
PMC3078025
DOI:
10.1121/1.3533722
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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