2pSC2. Nasal duration and amplitude as a function of stress and prosodic phrasing in Estonian.

Session: Tuesday Afternoon, May 14

Time: 1:15

Author: Matthew K. Gordon
Location: Dept. of Linguist., UCLA, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024


Cross-linguistically, segments are often lengthened and/or strengthened at prosodic boundaries, where the degree of lengthening/strengthening is generally correlated with the level of the boundary: The larger the boundary, the longer/more strengthened the segment. Stress often induces similar lengthening/strengthening. In this study, the duration of Estonian nasals was measured in utterance-, word-, and syllable-initial position in the onset of unstressed and stressed (primary and secondary) syllables. Nasal amplitude relative to the immediately following vowel was also measured in these contexts in order to draw inferences about the effect of stress and prosodic boundaries on nasal articulation. Preliminary results revealed that duration and amplitude are a function of both stress and, to a lesser extent, level of the prosodic boundary. Nasal duration was greater as stress level increased. However, nasal amplitude was greater in the onset of unstressed syllables immediately following stressed syllables than in the onset of stressed syllables. Regarding phrasal boundaries, word-initial nasals were longer than syllable-initial nasals, but only in unstressed environments, supporting an interaction between stress and phrasing. Furthermore, utterance-initial nasals were longer than syllable-initial nasals, but had less amplitude, suggesting strengthening (increased ``consonantality'') in utterance-initial position.

from ASA 131st Meeting, Indianapolis, May 1996