ASA 126th Meeting Denver 1993 October 4-8

3aSP6. Tracking the gliding tongue and lips: Articulatory undershoot or perceptual overshoot or ...?

Leigh Lisker

Haskins Labs., 270 Crown St., New Haven, CT 06511-6695 and Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104)

At the last ASA meeting it was shown that for a set of synthetic vowel--glide--vowel sequences varying in F2 trajectories a range of frequencies can equally well serve as mid segments in patterns identified as English /iwi/ and /uyu/. Many of these mid segments, when lengthed and presented in isolation, resemble the high front rounded vowel [y], so that when short and intervocalic one might expect them to be heard as the glide [(inverted aitch)], at least by phonetically trained listeners. However, perceptual data suggest that intended [(inverted aitch)] in /i/---/i/ is heard as /w/, while in /u/---/u/ it is /y/. Assuming the syllabifications /i$wi/ and /u$yu/, one might then expect an initial [(inverted aitch)] to be heard as /w/ in [(inverted aitch)i] and as /y/ in [(inverted aitch)u]. Test data indicate otherwise. Unlike /iwi/ and /uyu/, /wi/ and /yu/ show no overlap of F2 values in their initial steady-state segments---there is instead a range of F2 values for which listeners report both [underbar not]-/wi/ and [underbar not]-/yu/. Thus for English /w,y/ the steady-state and transitional intervals have different perceptual weights initially and medially. [Work supported by NIH Grant No. HD-01994 to Haskins Laboratories.]