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J Acoust Soc Am. 1997 Feb;101(2):1064-77.

Toward articulatory-acoustic models for liquid approximants based on MRI and EPG data. Part I. The laterals.

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Department of Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, UCLA 90095, USA.


Magnetic resonance images of the vocal tract during the sustained phonation of /l/ (both dark and light allophones) by four native American English talkers are employed for measuring lengths, area functions, and cavity volumes and for the analysis of 3-D vocal tract and tongue shapes. Electropalatography contact profiles are used for studying inter- and intra-talker variabilities and as a source of converging evidence for the magnetic resonance imaging study. The general 3-D tongue body shapes for both allophones of /l/ are characterized by a linguo-alveolar contact together with inward lateral compression and convex cross sections of the posterior tongue body region. The lateral compression along the midsagittal plane enables the creation of flow channels along the sides of the tongue. The bilateral flow channels exhibit somewhat different areas, a characteristic which is talker-dependent. Dark /l/s show smaller pharyngeal areas than the light varieties due to tongue-root retraction and/or posterior tongue body raising. The acoustic implications of the observed geometries are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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