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

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


The Effect of Voicing Assimilation on Gestural Coordination

Joaquín Romero (1,2)

(1) Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain
(2) Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, CT, USA

The present study investigates the phonetic realization of voicing assimilation in consonant sequences in Spanish. The effects of voicing assimilation are investigated in terms of both the magnitude of the laryngeal gesture and the interarticulator timing between laryngeal and supralaryngeal gestures. We looked at the effects at the gestural level of a phonological process by which two segments with opposite specifications for voicing are placed side by side. The data have been collected using an EMMA system with simultaneous observation of the laryngeal behavior by means of laryngeal transillumination. The results show that the patterns of interarticulatory timing are affected by the assimilatory process. This supports an interpretation of assimilation as gestural blending, which is a more realistic explanation for voicing assimilation than is provided by traditional phonological accounts. It also provides an interpretation of gestural blending that is consistent with other similar types of assimilatory processes.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Romero, Joaquín (1999): "The effect of voicing assimilation on gestural coordination", In ICPhS-14, 1793-1796.