The Effect of Stress and Speech Rate on Vowel Coarticulation in Catalan Vowel–Consonant–Vowel Sequences Purpose The goal of this study was to ascertain the effect of changes in stress and speech rate on vowel coarticulation in vowel–consonant–vowel sequences. Method Data on second formant coarticulatory effects as a function of changing /i/ versus /a/ were collected for five Catalan speakers' productions of vowel–consonant–vowel ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2015
The Effect of Stress and Speech Rate on Vowel Coarticulation in Catalan Vowel–Consonant–Vowel Sequences
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Daniel Recasens
    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Daniel Recasens: daniel.recasens@uab.es
  • Editor: Jody Kreiman
    Editor: Jody Kreiman×
  • Associate Editor: Ewa Jacewicz
    Associate Editor: Ewa Jacewicz×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2015
The Effect of Stress and Speech Rate on Vowel Coarticulation in Catalan Vowel–Consonant–Vowel Sequences
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2015, Vol. 58, 1407-1424. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-S-14-0196
History: Received July 15, 2014 , Revised February 2, 2015 , Accepted June 18, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2015, Vol. 58, 1407-1424. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-S-14-0196
History: Received July 15, 2014; Revised February 2, 2015; Accepted June 18, 2015

Purpose The goal of this study was to ascertain the effect of changes in stress and speech rate on vowel coarticulation in vowel–consonant–vowel sequences.

Method Data on second formant coarticulatory effects as a function of changing /i/ versus /a/ were collected for five Catalan speakers' productions of vowel–consonant–vowel sequences with the fixed vowels /i/ and /a/ and consonants: the approximant /δ/, the alveolopalatal nasal /ɲ/, and /l/, which in the Catalan language differs in darkness degree according to speaker.

Results In agreement with predictions formulated by the degree-of-articulation-constraint model of coarticulation, the size of the vowel coarticulatory effects was inversely related to the degree of articulatory constraint for the consonant, and the direction of those effects was mostly carryover or anticipatory in vowel–consonant–vowel sequences with highly constrained consonants (/ɲ/, dark /l/) and more variable whenever the intervocalic consonant was less constrained (/δ/, clear /l/). Stress and speech-rate variations had an effect on overall vowel duration, second formant frequency, and coarticulation size but not on the consonant-specific patterns of degree and direction of vowel coarticulation.

Conclusion These results indicate that prosodically induced coarticulatory changes conform to the basic principles of segmental coarticulatory organization.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by project FFI2013-40579-P from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, by ICREA (Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies), and by the research group 2014SGR61 from the Catalan government. I would like to thank Meritxell Mira for assistance with the analysis of the acoustic data.
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