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

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

Effects of Speaking Rate on the Timing of Single and Geminate Sonorants

Amalia Arvaniti

University of Cyprus

Cypriot Greek single and geminate sonorants (/m, n, l, r/) at normal and fast speaking rate were compared to sonorants in Standard Greek, which has no length distinction. Cypriot singletons and geminates all shortened at fast rate, except for the single [ɾ]. There was no overlap between singletons and geminates either within or across speaking rates. The duration of Greek sonorants was intermediate between the two Cypriot categories. The [ɾ] results show that reported asymmetries on the effects of rate are due to the incompressibility of certain categories and are not imposed by the linguistic system. However, the contrasts a category enters within a system affect this category's values, as manifested in the greater length of the Greek sonorants. Finally, the results show that when duration is the main cue to a categorial distinction, no durational overlap occurs between categories, contrary to what studies on contrastive vowel length suggest.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Arvaniti, Amalia (1999): "Effects of speaking rate on the timing of single and geminate sonorants", In ICPhS-14, 599-602.