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

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

Phonetic Preconditions for the Development of Normative Preaspiration

Pétur Helgason

Institute of Linguistics, Stockholm University, Sweden

In several languages and dialects of north-western Europe, preaspiration – the early timing of glottal abduction relative to oral closure in vowels preceding a voiceless stop consonant – has become normative in the sense of being an obligatory feature of sequences of vowel and fortis stop. Impressionistic observations suggest that non-normative preaspiration may occur across the whole Scandinavian language area. In the present paper, speech samples from 4 speakers of Central Standard Swedish were analysed with regard to the temporal aspect of preaspiration. It was found that three of the speakers tended to preaspirate, and that impressionistic predictions regarding preaspiration tendencies in their speech were borne out by instrumental analysis. It is suggested that the presence of this kind of non-normative preaspiration in the Scandinavian language area in general provides a favourable ‘phonetic soil’ for the development of normative preaspiration.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Helgason, Pétur (1999): "Phonetic preconditions for the development of normative preaspiration", In ICPhS-14, 1851-1854.