Voice Onset Time, Frication, and Aspiration in Word-Initial Consonant Clusters The voice onset time (VOT) and the duration of the burst of frication noise at the release of a plosive consonant were measured from spectrograms of word-initial consonant clusters. Mean data from three speakers reading English words in a sentence frame indicated that the VOT changed as a function of ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1975
Voice Onset Time, Frication, and Aspiration in Word-Initial Consonant Clusters
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Dennis H. Klatt
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1975
Voice Onset Time, Frication, and Aspiration in Word-Initial Consonant Clusters
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1975, Vol. 18, 686-706. doi:10.1044/jshr.1804.686
History: Received March 4, 1975 , Accepted June 15, 1975
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1975, Vol. 18, 686-706. doi:10.1044/jshr.1804.686
History: Received March 4, 1975; Accepted June 15, 1975

The voice onset time (VOT) and the duration of the burst of frication noise at the release of a plosive consonant were measured from spectrograms of word-initial consonant clusters. Mean data from three speakers reading English words in a sentence frame indicated that the VOT changed as a function of the place of articulation of the plosive and as a function of the identity of the following vowel or sonorant consonant. Burst durations varied in a similar way such that the remaining interval of aspiration in /p, t, k/ was nearly the same duration in comparable phonetic environments. The VOT was longer before sonorants and high vowels than before mid- and low vowels. Aspiration was also seen in an /s/-sonorant cluster. To explain these regularities, production strategies and perceptual cues to a voicing decision for English plosives are considered. Variations in VOT are explained in terms of articulatory mechanisms, perceptual constraints, and phonological rules. Some VOT data obtained from a connected discourse were also analyzed and organized into a set of rules for predicting voice onset time in any sentence context.

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