14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)
San Francisco, CA, USA
It is claimed that close vowels in Japanese are devoiced when they occur between voiceless consonants. In this paper, voiceless vowels are represented symbolically as [V-] and voiced vowels as [V+]. The articulatory gestures during C[V-]C units and the corresponding C[V+]C units are examined using electropalatography (EPG). Our results shows that a devoiced vowel is generally produced by creating a greater degree of linguopalatal contact at the front part of the palate than a voiced vowel. However, it is also observed that when the patterns of linguopalatal contact are similar, the duration of a devoiced vowel is longer than a voiced cognate. This study suggests that a turbulent noise during a devoiced vowel results from either creating a greater degree of tongue-palate contact, or increasing the duration of the inter-consonantal noise. This kind of linguopalatal contact seems to results from speakers subconscious use of aerodynamic effects.
Bibliographic reference. Kumagai, Shuri (1999): "Patterns of linguopalatal contact during Japanese vowel devoicing", In ICPhS-14, 375-378.