3pSC14. Relearning consonant timing: Evidence from English and Russian.

Session: Wednesday Afternoon, December 4


Author: Elizabeth C. Zsiga
Location: Dept. of Linguist., Georgetown Univ., Washington, DC 20057


Advocates of the gestural approach to phonetic or phonological representations argue that degree of overlap between articulatory gestures can account for many phonetic regularities (such as assimilation, deletion, or release of consonants in clusters) that can contribute to the perception of a ``foreign accent'' [C. P. Browman and L. Goldstein, Phonetica 49, 155--180 (1992); E. C. Zsiga, GURT 1995, pp. 575--587 (1995)]. The research reported here compares patterns of consonant overlap at word boundaries in English and Russian, and investigates the extent to which adult language learners transfer the timing patterns of their native language to the second language. Native Russian speakers learning English and native English speakers learning Russian produced phrases in English and Russian contrasting VC#CV, VC#V, and V#CV sequences, with varying stress patterns and syntactic configurations. The ratio of closure duration in clusters as compared with single consonants [E. C. Zsiga, J. Phon. 22, 121--140 (1994)] is examined, in order to determine patterns of consonant timing in the two languages (including effects of stress and boundary strength) and to elucidate the extent to which the timing patterns of second-language speakers resemble that of native speakers.

ASA 132nd meeting - Hawaii, December 1996