Articulatory correlates of the voicing contrast in alveolar obstruent production in German


  • Susanne Fuchs



This work investigates laryngeal and supralaryngeal correlates of the voicing contrast in alveolar obstruent production in German. It further studies laryngealoral co-ordination observed for such productions. Three different positions of the obstruents are taken into account: the stressed, syllable initial position, the post-stressed intervocalic position, and the post-stressed word final position. For the latter the phonological rule of final devoicing applies in German. The different positions are chosen in order to study the following hypotheses: 1. The presence/absence of glottal opening is not a consistent correlate of the voicing contrast in German. 2. Supralaryngeal correlates are also involved in the contrast. 3. Supralaryngeal correlates can compensate for the lack of distinction in laryngeal adjustment. Including the word final position is motivated by the question whether neutralization in word final position would be complete or whether some articulatory residue of the contrast can be found. Two experiments are carried out. The first experiment investigates glottal abduction in co-ordination with tongue-palate contact patterns by means of simultaneous recordings of transillumination, fiberoptic films and Electropalatography (EPG). The second experiment focuses on supralaryngeal correlates of alveolar stops studied by means of Electromagnetic Articulography (EMA) simultaneously with EPG. Three German native speakers participated in both recordings. Results of this study provide evidence that the first hypothesis holds true for alveolar stops when different positions are taken into account. In fricative production it is also confirmed since voiceless and voiced fricatives are most of the time realised with glottal abduction. Additionally, supralaryngeal correlates are involved in the voicing contrast under two perspectives. First, laryngeal and supralaryngeal movements are well synchronised in voiceless obstruent production, particularly in the stressed position. Second, supralaryngeal correlates occur especially in the post-stressed intervocalic position. Results are discussed with respect to the phonetics-phonology interface, to the role of timing and its possible control, to the interarticulatory co-ordination, and to stress as 'localised hyperarticulation'.






Fuchs, Susanne. 2005. „Articulatory Correlates of the Voicing Contrast in Alveolar Obstruent Production in German“. ZAS Papers in Linguistics 41 (Januar):252.