ASA 130th Meeting - St. Louis, MO - 1995 Nov 27 .. Dec 01

4pSC13. Coproduction, accent, and the tense/lax vowel contrast.

Janet M. Fletcher

Dept. of Linguist., Univ. of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia

Jonathan M. Harrington

Macquarie Univ., North Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia

The kinematics of accented versus unaccented syllables was analyzed in a corpus of Australian English. It was found that unaccented productions of the long vowel /a:/ in the word ``barb'' show evidence of articulatory truncation. In other words, opening jaw movements into the long vowel are cut short by the jaw-raising gesture for the final /b/. Unaccented vowels were best modeled as more ``coarticulated'' or coproduced versions of accented vowels in this corpus. As part of the same experiment, the kinematics of the vowel contrast /a/ vs /a:/ was also examined. Previous studies of Australian English vowels note the acoustic similarity of the vowels in words like ``cut'' versus ``cart.'' While treated phonologically as part of the set of tense/lax contrasts in Australian English, it is perhaps more accurately described as a vowel quantity as opposed to vowel quality contrast. Evidence of articulatory truncation or coproduction was also found in three speakers' productions of the first (short) vowel in accented versions of the two words ``bub'' and ``barb.'' The short vowel was best modeled as a co-produced version of the long vowel. However, there was also evidence of alternative articulatory strategies implying some movement or gesture-specific dynamics in addition to intergestural articulatory timing strategies.