4pSCa6. Kinematic characteristics of gestural onsets and the single-geminate consonant distinction in Italian and Finnish.

Session: Thursday Afternoon, June 19

Author: Margaret Hall Dunn
Location: Haskins Labs., 270 Crown St., New Haven, CT 06511, dunn@haskins.yale.edu


Selspot traces of lip aperture change in the movement-to-closure portions (movement from preceding vowel into consonant) of single and geminate bilabial consonants in two unrelated languages, Italian and Finnish, were assessed to test the hypothesis that geminates are equivalent to sequences of identical overlapping single consonant gestures. If the closing portions of single and geminate consonants exhibited the same kinematic structure, this would be evidence that the geminate is composed of overlapping gestures. Duration of closing movement, displacement during closing, and peak velocity achieved during closing were compared for productions of single and geminate bilabial consonants for four speakers in each language. For Italian, differences in these kinematic variables during the closing portions of singles and geminates could be accounted for in terms of differences in the timing of consonants with respect to preceding vowels and the overlapping-gesture hypothesis was supported; in Finnish the kinematics of the two types of consonants was not equivalent, and it was concluded that Finnish includes a distinct inventory of gestures for the production of long, rather than geminate, consonants. [Work supported by NIH Grant No. DC-00121 to Haskins Laboratories.]

ASA 133rd meeting - Penn State, June 1997