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Phonetica. 1994;51(1-3):99-110.

Some distributional facts about fricatives and a perceptual explanation.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin 78712.

Abstract

Across and within languages voiced sibilants tend to be disfavored relative to voiceless ones. This paper explores the claim that voicing more adversely affects the distinctive acoustic properties of sibilants than those of nonsibilants. One prediction associated with this claim is that voicing differentially lowers the amplitude of frication noise for sibilants and non-sibilants so that amplitude differences between the two classes are reduced. Acoustic measurements confirm this prediction. A second prediction is that voicing has a greater negative effect on the identification of sibilants than nonsibilants. Perceptual results from this and previous studies are somewhat variable, but averaged data support this prediction. The findings suggest that voiced sibilants are disfavored in part for perceptual reasons.

PMID:
8052677
DOI:
10.1159/000261962
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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