Mary E. Beckman
Ohio State Univ., Linguistics, 1712 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43210-1298
Sensimetrics, Cambridge, MA 02139
Since the jaw's vertical displacement is largely due to rotation about the condyle, its contribution to a consonant's constriction should depend on distance from the condyle. An earlier study of one speaker's productions of English stops showed higher jaw in labials than in velars, as predicted, but highest jaw in coronals. This study investigates more consonant types produced by three speakers each of Korean, French, and Arabic. In general, the hypothesized dependency was supported. Jaw height was greater in labials than in velars, and greater in velars than in uvulars, but contributed nothing to pharyngeals and laryngeals. However, the problematic results concerning coronals were confirmed; the jaw was highest in coronals, particularly [s] and [(sh) ]. Moreover, in Korean the jaw was higher in velars coarticulated with a neighboring central vowel [(barred eye)] than coarticulated with the fronter [i]. The greater contribution to coronal fricatives may be because the lower incisors must be positioned to impinge on the air stream, whereas the greater height for dorsal stops next to [(barred eye)] may be because the opposing surface (the hard palate) is furthest away from the tongue in that place.