ASA 126th Meeting Denver 1993 October 4-8

1pSP14. Duration aspects in manner of articulation distinctions.

Joaquin Romero

Haskins Labs., 270 Crown St., New Haven, CT 06511

Differences in manner of articulation---between stops, fricatives, and approximants---have been described articulatorily in terms of degree and area of the constriction. It is suggested here that such differences are generally accompanied by a distinction in the duration of the constriction gestures. An experiment was carried out in which an optical tracking device was used to record the movement of the lips of a speaker of Andalusian Spanish, a dialect spoken in Southern Spain that has a complete series of homorganic stops, fricatives, and approximants. Results of both acoustic and kinematic analyses indicated that, while certain variation in constriction degree was indeed observed, the durational differences appeared to be much more stable and robust. A bilabial fricative [(beta)] not only has a narrower constriction than an approximant (beta)(low modifier) but is also longer. Fricatives, because they need to generate turbulent airflow, have a longer, more precise articulatory configuration than approximants, which create no turbulence and, consequently, need not remain in a particular articulatory configuration for long. Because of their very short duration, approximants seem to lack a precise articulatory target: they show a great deal of variation in their articulatory trajectories and are very sensitive to coarticulation from neighboring segments. [Work supported by NIH Grant Nos. DC-00121 and HD-01994 to Haskins Laboratories.]