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Morphological effects on the darkness of English intervocalic /l/

Morphological effects on the darkness of English intervocalic /l/ Abstract Articulatory and acoustic studies have provided evidence that in word- initial and word-final positions, English /l/ exhibits substantial differences in ‘darkness‐: dark (ɫ) in word-final position is produced with a more retracted tongue dorsum and lowered tongue body than light (l) in word-initial position. The darkness of intervocalic /l/, however, is variable. While Sproat and Fujimura (1993) argue that /l/ darkness is on a continuum strongly affected by duration, Hayes (2000) maintains that the morphological status of intervocalic /l/s should affect whether they are produced as light or dark variants. In this study, ultrasound imaging is used to investigate whether the morphological affiliation of the /l/ affects the degree of tongue dorsum retraction and tongue body lowering and the acoustic characteristics of /l/ darkness. Six American English speakers produced three types of stimuli which were predicted to increase in darkness in the following order: (1) when /l/ corresponded with the onset of a suffix (e.g., flaw-less), (2) when /l/ corresponded with the final position of the stem word (e.g., tall-est), and (3) when /l/ was the final consonant of a stem word (e.g., tall). For both articulatory and acoustic measures, the predicted order was upheld. The strongest articulatory correlate of darkness was tongue body lowering, and acoustic differences were mainly manifested in F1 and normalized intensity. Phonological implications of these findings are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Laboratory Phonology de Gruyter

Morphological effects on the darkness of English intervocalic /l/

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by the
ISSN
1868-6346
eISSN
1868-6354
DOI
10.1515/lp-2013-0015
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Articulatory and acoustic studies have provided evidence that in word- initial and word-final positions, English /l/ exhibits substantial differences in ‘darkness‐: dark (ɫ) in word-final position is produced with a more retracted tongue dorsum and lowered tongue body than light (l) in word-initial position. The darkness of intervocalic /l/, however, is variable. While Sproat and Fujimura (1993) argue that /l/ darkness is on a continuum strongly affected by duration, Hayes (2000) maintains that the morphological status of intervocalic /l/s should affect whether they are produced as light or dark variants. In this study, ultrasound imaging is used to investigate whether the morphological affiliation of the /l/ affects the degree of tongue dorsum retraction and tongue body lowering and the acoustic characteristics of /l/ darkness. Six American English speakers produced three types of stimuli which were predicted to increase in darkness in the following order: (1) when /l/ corresponded with the onset of a suffix (e.g., flaw-less), (2) when /l/ corresponded with the final position of the stem word (e.g., tall-est), and (3) when /l/ was the final consonant of a stem word (e.g., tall). For both articulatory and acoustic measures, the predicted order was upheld. The strongest articulatory correlate of darkness was tongue body lowering, and acoustic differences were mainly manifested in F1 and normalized intensity. Phonological implications of these findings are discussed.

Journal

Laboratory Phonologyde Gruyter

Published: Oct 25, 2013

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