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

1pSP7. Speakers nasalize /(edh)/ if it is preceded by /n/, but listeners don't care---They still hear /(edh)/.

Sharon Y. Manuel

Res. Lab. of Electron., Mass. Inst. of Technol. Bldg. 36-511, Cambridge, MA 02139

Presumably as a result of coarticulation, /(edh)/ often assimilates to a preceding /n/ in phrases like ``win those,'' but this assimilation is not complete for all features. With respect to the feature [nasal], the assimilation is often radical. The entire consonant region in the middle of the two-word sequence is nasalized. However, acoustic evidence suggests that contextually nasalized /(edh)/ retains its dental place of articulation. Specifically, F2 is considerably lower at the release of a contextually nasalized /(edh)/ than at the release of a true /n/, as would be expected for a dental consonant. Perception tests show that listeners can generally tell the difference between natural tokens of pairs like ``win nos'' and ``win those,'' even when the /(edh)/ is completely nasalized. In addition, a synthetic stimulus continuum was constructed in which items differed only with respect to F2 frequency in the vicinity of the nasal consonant regions of phrases like ``win nos.'' Listeners systematically reported hearing ``those'' more often when F2 was low at the release of the nasal consonant. These results are consistent with the claim of Krakow, Fowler, and others, that listeners can at least sometimes factor out coarticulatory effects. [Work supported by NSF.]