Third European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Berlin, Germany
September 22-25, 1993


Intra- and Interspeaker Variation of /r/ in Dutch

Willem H. Vieregge (1), A. P. A. Broeders (2)

(1) Dept. of Language and Speech, Phonetics Section, University of Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
(2) National Forensic Science Laboratory, Rijswijk, The Netherlands

In Dutch, the phonological variable M has a large number of different realizations. Among the most common of these are the alveolar trill and flap, the voiced uvular fricative and the uvular approximant. The distribution of these variants of /r/ is known to be conditioned by its phonological context and to vary for different accents as well as different speakers of Dutch. There are, however, no empirical studies which provide quantitative information about the actual nature of the variation in the realization of /r/ found in individual speakers of Dutch.

The present paper reports on a study aimed to gain insight into the question whether or to what extent individual speakers differ consistently in their realization of /r/ and to examine how intraspeaker differences compare with interspeaker differences. In addition to their intrinsic descriptive interest, these questions have considerable relevance to auditory speaker identification both in the forensic context and beyond.

Speech samples produced by male speakers of Dutch were analysed to define suitable /r/-contexts. Selected M-segments were subsequently transcribed by means of a consensus transcription. For all speakers, the distribution of [r]-variants was established and statistics were calculated, including the frequency of the modal and non-modal realizations. The results of this study give a first indication of the patterning of M-realizations in the speech of individual speakers of Dutch. It forms part of a larger project involving an analysis of a range of segmental variables in a variety of speech styles as realised by standard- as well as nonstandard-accented speakers of Dutch.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Vieregge, Willem H. / Broeders, A. P. A. (1993): "Intra- and interspeaker variation of /r/ in dutch", In EUROSPEECH'93, 267-270.