Dawn M. Behne
Univ. of Trondheim, 7055 Dragvoll, Norway
Peter E. Czigler
Ume\a Univ., 901 87 Ume\a, Sweden
Syllable-internal timing can be affected by a variety of factors, including postvocalic voicing and distinctive vowel length. Both factors have been found to inversely affect vowel duration and the duration of a postvocalic consonant, resulting in similar rhyme-internal timing patterns. Is there any indication that syllable-internal timing uniquely characterizes distinctive vowel length and postvocalic voicing? Three experiments have been carried out investigating combinations of postvocalic voicing and distinctive vowel length in English, Norwegian, and Swedish. For each language a controlled set of CVCs was selected in which the final consonants were either voiced or voiceless. In addition, Norwegian and Swedish CVCs were selected which had distinctively short or long vowels, and for English, words were chosen which contained inherently short and long vowels. The target items were recorded in carrier sentences and durations of the initial consonant, the vowel, and final consonants were measured. Results demonstrated the expected inverse timing relations within the rhyme associated with postvocalic voicing and distinctive vowel length. In addition, prevocalic consonant duration was consistently distinct for conditions of postvocalic voicing compared to distinctive vowel length. Findings for English, Norwegian, and Swedish will be discussed in terms of syllable-internal timing.