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

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

Articulatory Coordination in Coronal Stops: Implications for Theories of Coarticulation

Christine Ericsdotter, Björn Lindblom, Johan Stark

Stockholm University, Sweden

Articulatory data obtained from X-ray films were analyzed to investigate articulatory coordination in Swedish vowels and dental and retroflex stops. Several quantitative frameworks for predicting observed tongue contours were evaluated. Performance was assessed on a set of articulations traced at the V1:C boundary in V1:CV2 sequences. The best model, as determined by an rms-criterion, had 3 parameters: length of blade (dental/retroflex), degree of coarticulation, pharynx width. According to this account the coarticulatory (vowel-dependent) variations in [F] and [Ç] tongue contours are seen as arising from the overlap of a gradual deactivation of the V1: gesture and the movement towards a vowel-independent consonant target, a process successfully captured by interpolation in the model. This result is discussed in terms of co-production (Öhman, [1]) and the overlapping innervation wave theory (Joos [2]).


  1. Öhman, S. 1967. Numerical Model of Coarticulation. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 41, 310-320.
  2. Joos M. 1948. Acoustic Phonetics. Language 24, 1-136.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ericsdotter, Christine / Lindblom, Björn / Stark, Johan (1999): "Articulatory coordination in coronal stops: implications for theories of coarticulation", In ICPhS-14, 1885-1888.