14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)
San Francisco, CA, USA
Casual speech phenomena can pose striking challenges to our understanding of speech production, articulatory-to-acoustic mapping, speech perception, and indeed the nature of abstract underlying representations and phonological processes. We focus here on cases of /ð/ which have been assimilated, at least in part, to a preceding /l/ in utterances like steal those. Acoustic analysis shows that the /ð/ may become sonorant and lateral, but that it still retains its dental place of articulation. Perception data indicate that when this type of /ð/ is heard without the original source of the sonorant and lateral features, listeners hear /ð/ as /l/, whereas in context they hear it as /ð/. Such powerful perceptual recovery processes suggests that this and other examples of assimilation - examples relevant to the phonetic and phonological sciences - will only be discovered by careful attention to the acoustic consequences of assimilation.
Bibliographic reference. Manuel, Sharon Y. / Wyrick, Gretchen C. (1999): "Casual speech: a rich source of intriguing puzzles", In ICPhS-14, 679-682.