8th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Jeju Island, Korea
October 4-8, 2004

Language Specific Phonetic Rules: Evidence from Domain-Initial Strengthening

Sung-A Kim

Seowon University, Korea

This paper investigates the domain-initial strengthening in English and Hamkyeong Korean. Although many languages are known to display domain-initial strengthening (Byrd 2000, Dilley, Shattuck- Hufnagel & Ostendorf 1996), it is yet unclear whether initial-syllable vowels preceded by consonants undergo it as well. This study presents the result of an experimental study of initial syllables in English and Hamkyeong Korean. Durations of initial-syllable vowels were compared to those of second vowels in real-word tokens for both languages. Hamkyeong Korean, like English, tuned out to strengthen the domain-initial consonants. With regard to vowel durations, we found no significant of prosodic effect in English. On the other hand, Hamkyeong Korean showed significant differences between durations of initial and non-initial vowels in the higher prosodic domains. The findings in the study are theoretically important as they reveal that the potentially-universal phenomenon of initial strengthening is subject to language specific variations in its implementation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kim, Sung-A (2004): "Language specific phonetic rules: evidence from domain-initial strengthening", In INTERSPEECH-2004, 1269-1272.