Interspeech'2005 - Eurospeech

Lisbon, Portugal
September 4-8, 2005

Italian Geminates Under Speech Rate and Focalization Changes: Kinematic, Acoustic, and Perception Data

Barbara Gili Fivela (1), Claudio Zmarich (2)

(1) University of Lecce, Italy; (2) ISTC-CNR, Italy

Italian geminate consonants have been studied as for both their phonetic characteristics and their phonological status. As for the phonetic aspects, though, few works focus on kinematic data. This study relates on both acoustic and kinematic material, as well as on perception data, in order to get evidence on the phonological status of geminate consonants.

A read speech corpus was collected and analyzed both acoustically and kinematically, after being checked perceptually. The corpus is represented by utterances containing target words with bilabial and labiodental consonants, realized as singleton, geminates and within clusters, and produced at a natural speech rate and under speech rate and focalization changes. Data show that the lower lip opening gesture is similarly characterized in geminates and clusters, offering additional phonetic evidence that geminates may be given an heterosyllabic interpretation. Productions in focused contexts confirm results obtained in relation to the analysis of natural speech rate stimuli, while the increasing in speech rate shows that kinematic correlates of gemination appear to be more stable than acoustic ones, and that geminates still show characteristics similar to heterosyllabic segments, i.e. clusters.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Gili Fivela, Barbara / Zmarich, Claudio (2005): "Italian geminates under speech rate and focalization changes: kinematic, acoustic, and perception data", In INTERSPEECH-2005, 2897-2900.