Multiplicity of the Acoustic Correlates of the Fortis-Lenis Contrast: Plosives in Aberystwyth English

Míša Hejná


Using evidence from Aberystwyth English, this study shows two points relevant for the phonetic implementation of the fortis-lenis contrast in plosives and two points concerning the diachronic scenarios proposed as ways in which pre-aspiration (one of the correlates of this contrast) innovates. Firstly, a wide range of acoustic features distinguishes the fortis and the lenis series. Release duration is a correlate of the contrast in three foot-positions (initial: tot vs dot; medial: co tter vs co dder; final: co t vs co d), as is vowel duration and the presence of voicing. Furthermore, pre-aspiration and breathiness differentiate the two series foot-medially and foot-finally. For one speaker, glottalisation rather than pre-aspiration distinguishes the series foot-finally. Secondly, whilst the plosives are frequently post-aspirated foot-initially, the release of /t/ and /d/ is realised variably with affrication and/or post-aspiration in all three positions: rather than presence or absence of affrication or post-aspiration then, it is release duration that distinguishes the series. Thirdly, the data is not supportive of the suggestion that pre-aspiration innovates in the fortis series as a consequence of the loss of voicing in the lenis series or the other way round [1] and [2] or, fourthly, as a step on a degemination trajectory [3], [4].


DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2016-1101

Cite as

Hejná, M. (2016) Multiplicity of the Acoustic Correlates of the Fortis-Lenis Contrast: Plosives in Aberystwyth English. Proc. Interspeech 2016, 3147-3151.

Bibtex
@inproceedings{Hejná2016,
author={Míša Hejná},
title={Multiplicity of the Acoustic Correlates of the Fortis-Lenis Contrast: Plosives in Aberystwyth English},
year=2016,
booktitle={Interspeech 2016},
doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2016-1101},
url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2016-1101},
pages={3147--3151}
}