14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999


How and Why do the Tongue Gestures of [t], [d], [l], [n], [s], and [r] Differ?

Per Lindblad (1), Sture Lundqvist (2)

(1) Department of Linguistics, Göteborg, Sweden
(2) Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Goteborg, Sweden

The detailed front tongue gestures of [tdlnsr] differ intralingually, according to an interlingually widespread pattern. This pattern reflects general, sound-specific production conditions, such as: [s] demands a high mandibular position, a laminar groove, and an air-jet hitting the front incisors; [r] demands a well-balanced interplay of aerodynamic and organic factors, including absence of laminar tension; [l] has a transverse tongue compression and a lower mandibular position.
   Swedish EPG data on [l] and other front coronals are presented and discussed partly in relation to the three-dimensional physiological tongue models of Stone and Wilhelms- Tricarico. Such models need empiric data like ours to develop. Also, detailed data will eventually be explained by such models.
   We hypothesise: the [l] tendency to be apical more often than other coronals is due to its low mandibular position; this low position is due to its vertical tongue thickening and a strategy to avoid velarisation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lindblad, Per / Lundqvist, Sture (1999): "How and why do the tongue gestures of [t], [d], [l], [n], [s], and [r] differ?", In ICPhS-14, 417-420.