2pSC12. Competing hypotheses concerning the articulation of stress in English.

Session: Tuesday Afternoon, May 14

Time: 4:00

Author: Jonathan Harrington
Author: Sallyanne Palethorpe
Location: Speech Hearing and Language Res. Ctr., Macquarie Univ., Sydney NSW 2109, Australia
Author: Janet Fletcher
Location: Univ. of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Author: Mary E. Beckman
Location: Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH 43210-1298


Previous studies have suggested two different hypotheses concerning the articulation of stress contrasts in English. Examination of low vowels surrounded by labial consonants generally shows lower jaw in accented as opposed to unaccented syllables, a result originally interpreted as a lower and hence louder vowel [Edwards et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 89, 369--382 (1991)]. On the other hand, a study of nonlow back vowels in alveolar contexts showed higher and backer tongue body in accented syllables, suggesting a more peripheral vowel [de Jong, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 97, 491--504 (1995)]. This paper reexamines the two hypotheses by looking at both jaw and tongue for both phonemically low and high vowels. Five speakers of Australian English read 20 tokens of two short discourses which placed the name ``Babber'' or ``Beaber'' twice each in accented and deaccented positions. Jaw and tongue positions were recorded simultaneously using a magnetometer. On average, the jaw was lower in all accented syllables, although the difference was smaller for the high vowel. At the same time, the tongue body reached significantly higher positions in accented high vowels, and somewhat lower positions in accented low vowels. Thus the two hypotheses can be reconciled by their application to the two different articulators. or

from ASA 131st Meeting, Indianapolis, May 1996