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Articulatory correlates of the voicing contrast in alveolar obstruent production in German.

By Suzanne Fuchs


This work investigates laryngeal and supralaryngeal correlates of the voicing\ud contrast in alveolar obstruent production in German. It further studies laryngealoral\ud co-ordination observed for such productions. Three different positions of\ud the obstruents are taken into account: the stressed, syllable initial position, the\ud post-stressed intervocalic position, and the post-stressed word final position. For\ud the latter the phonological rule of final devoicing applies in German. The\ud different positions are chosen in order to study the following hypotheses:\ud 1. The presence/absence of glottal opening is not a consistent correlate of the\ud voicing contrast in German.\ud 2. Supralaryngeal correlates are also involved in the contrast.\ud 3. Supralaryngeal correlates can compensate for the lack of distinction in laryngeal\ud adjustment.\ud Including the word final position is motivated by the question whether neutralisation\ud in word final position would be complete or whether some articulatory\ud residue of the contrast can be found.\ud Two experiments are carried out. The first experiment investigates glottal abduction\ud in co-ordination with tongue-palate contact patterns by means of simultaneous\ud recordings of transillumination, fiberoptic films and Electropalatography\ud (EPG). The second experiment focuses on supralaryngeal correlates of\ud alveolar stops studied by means of Electromagnetic Articulography (EMA)\ud simultaneously with EPG. Three German native speakers participated in both\ud recordings. Results of this study provide evidence that the first hypothesis holds\ud true for alveolar stops when different positions are taken into account. In\ud fricative production it is also confirmed since voiceless and voiced fricatives are\ud most of the time realised with glottal abduction. Additionally, supralaryngeal\ud correlates are involved in the voicing contrast under two perspectives. First,\ud laryngeal and supralaryngeal movements are well synchronised in voiceless\ud obstruent production, particularly in the stressed position. Second, supralaryngeal\ud correlates occur especially in the post-stressed intervocalic position. Results\ud are discussed with respect to the phonetics-phonology interface, to the role of\ud timing and its possible control, to the interarticulatory co-ordination, and to\ud stress as ‘localised hyperarticulation’

Publisher: ZASPiL Nr. 41. Berlin, Germany, Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Typologie und Universalienforschung
Year: 2005
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