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J Acoust Soc Am. 1997 Jun;101(6):3728-40.

Articulatory strengthening at edges of prosodic domains.

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Department of Linguistics, University of California at Los Angeles 90095-1543, USA.


In this paper it is shown that at the edges of prosodic domains, initial consonant and final vowels have more extreme (less reduced) lingual articulations, which are called articulatory strengthening. Linguopalatal contact for consonants and vowels in different prosodic positions was compared, using reiterant-speech versions of sentences with a variety of phrasings read by three speakers of American English. Four prosodic domains were considered: the phonological word, the phonological (or intermediate) phrase, the intonational phrase, and the utterance. Domain-initial consonants show more linguopalatal contact than domain-medial or domain-final consonants, at three prosodic levels. Most vowels, on the other hand, show less linguopalatal contact in domain-final syllables compared to domain-initial and domain-medial. As a result, the articulatory difference between segments is greater around a prosodic boundary, increasing the articulatory contrast between consonant and vowels, and prosodic domains are marked at both edges. Furthermore, the consonant initial strengthening is generally cumulative, i.e., the higher the prosodic domain, the more linguopalatal contact the consonant has. However, speakers differed in how many and which levels were distinguished in this way. It is suggested that this initial strengthening could provide an alternative account for previously observed supralaryngeal declination of consonants. Acoustic duration of the consonants is also affected by prosodic position, and this lengthening is cumulative like linguopalatal contact, but the two measures are only weakly correlated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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