ASA 128th Meeting - Austin, Texas - 1994 Nov 28 .. Dec 02

1pSP14. Postvocalic consonant clusters in Swedish.

Peter E. Czigler

Umeaa University, 901 87 Umeaa, Sweden

Dawn M. Behne

Univ. of Trondheim, 7055 Dragvoll, Norway

In Swedish a postvocalic consonant is phonologically long following a distinctively short vowel and phonologically short following a distinctively long vowel. Previous research has demonstrated that this distinction is reflected in the relative durations of the corresponding segments. In addition, it has been shown that a consonant tends to be shorter in duration when it occurs in a consonant cluster than when it is a single consonant. However, when a consonant occurs in a cluster, it becomes less obvious whether it is a short or long consonant. The goal of this project is to determine whether the short--long dichotomy of consonants is acoustically realized in clusters. Target words were identified in which /k/ occured occurred in four different codas structures: C, C:, Cs, and sC. Native speakers of Swedish produced the target words in carrier sentences and the duration of the closure of /k/ and the preceding vowels were measured. The results demonstrate that the structure of a consonant cluster and its neighboring segments can affect the duration of a postvocalic consonant. These findings are discussed in terms of syllable-internal timing and the extent to which consonant duration varies within clusters.