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Preaspiration as a correlate of word-final voice in Scottish English fricatives

By Olga B. Gordeeva and James M Scobbie

Abstract

This chapter investigates the acoustics of aspiration noise in the intersegmental transition between a vowel and a following fricative, and how Scottish English speakers use this turbulence to convey phonologicalphonetic\ud structure. ‘Preaspiration’ – the perceptually salient aspiration present in vowel-obstruent transitions – is usually associated with stops rather than fricatives, both at phonological and phonetic levels of description. This study describes the occurrence of phonetic (nonnormative) preaspiration of voiceless fricatives in Scottish Standard English (SSE), spoken in the Central Belt of Scotland. This variety-specific optional characteristic is variably present in different SSE speakers, and results from a learnt dissociation of the lingual and supralaryngeal gestures required for voiceless fricatives.\ud \ud The aims of this study are to explore the acoustic characteristics of preaspirated fricatives in SSE and the potential linguistic functioning of preaspiration as a correlate of the fricative /voice/ contrast. In doing so, we will contribute to the sparse acoustic literature on preaspirated fricatives; bridge the gap between possible functional and co-articulatory explanations of this phenomenon; and present a new analytical method to quantify the glottal aperiodic turbulence in the vowel and vowel-fricative transitions independently from the offset of periodic phonation

Publisher: Mouton de Gruyter
DOI identifier: 10.1515/9783110226584
OAI identifier: oai:eresearch.qmu.ac.uk:1605
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