ISCA Archive PPST 1991
ISCA Archive PPST 1991

Assimilation and palatalisation in connected speech

Martin C. Barry

An investigation is reported into the phonostylistic variation encountered in the distribution of palatalisation in consonant-clusters in Russian. EPG evidence from two speakers suggests that while the spread of palatalisation does not vary with speaking rate or style, the lingual gesture constituting palatalisation is shown to be sensitive to speech-rate, diminishing in magnitude with increased speaking rate. This phenomenon is compared with measurements of other lingual gestures; it is seen that while the coronal gesture employed in the formation of dental stops shows no such susceptibility, a similar reduction in gesture-magnitude characterises dental nasals in clusters. A comparison is made between the spread of palatalisation and the assimilation of a dental nasals to the place of articulation of a following velar or labial in tautosyllabic clusters. In both cases speakers of Russian have access to phonological processes determining discrete categorical assimilations; at the same time speakers exhibit a tendency elsewhere for a lingual gesture to weaken in the circumstances of increased speaking rate. Such weakening does not appear to be tractable within conventional phonological descriptions, while none the less staking a claim to inclusion within the heading of 'the speaker's knowledge of how the language is pronounced' which may be taken as a broad definition of the subject matter of phonological theory.

Cite as: Barry, M.C. (1991) Assimilation and palatalisation in connected speech. Proc. ESCA Workshop on Phonetics and Phonology of Speaking Styles, paper 009

  author={Martin C. Barry},
  title={{Assimilation and palatalisation in connected speech}},
  booktitle={Proc. ESCA Workshop on Phonetics and Phonology of Speaking Styles},
  pages={paper 009}