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Learnability of laryngeal abduction in voiceless fricatives : cross-linguistic evidence

By Olga B. Gordeeva


Previous research of laryngeal-oral gestural coordination\ud in vowel-voiceless fricative sequences\ud (Vf) shows that earlier timing of glottal opening\ud relative to oral constriction is a languageindependent\ud aerodynamic property. In this paper,\ud we provide evidence that the extent of this gestural\ud dissociation is nonetheless learnable in a varietyspecific\ud way, and is, thus, actively controlled. This\ud study shows that in some British English varieties,\ud large temporal laryngeal-oral dissociation in Vf\ud transitions is a correlate of the fricative /voice/\ud contrast, while the dissociation is much tighter in a\ud language neutralising /voice/ such as Russian. The\ud learnability of Vf-gestures is important in the\ud context of theories on gestural phonology and\ud acoustic multidimensionality of the /voice/\ud contrast

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