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

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

The Mandibular Cycle and Reversed-Sonority Onset Clusters in Russian

Melissa Annette Redford

University of Texas, Austin, USA

The sonority principle is dramatically violated by some Russian onset clusters (e.g., [lba]) and not by others. Russian onset clusters therefore provide a good test of a phoneticallymotivated, alternative hypothesis to the sonority hierarchy; namely, the hypothesis that the primary constraint on the sequential organization of segments is the relatively independent close-open mandibular cycle. The jaw movement of 3 native Russian speakers was recorded during the production of simple CV syllables as well as during the production of syllables with standard onset clusters and those with reversed-sonority clusters. Measurements of jaw height during segment production and segment duration indicate that while reversed-sonority clusters may violate the sonority principle, they behave like more standard syllables and conform to the mandibular cycle.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Redford, Melissa Annette (1999): "The mandibular cycle and reversed-sonority onset clusters in Russian", In ICPhS-14, 1893-1896.