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

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

Acoustic Landmarks and Prosodic Asymmetries

Grzegorz Dogil

Experimental Phonetics, IMS, University of Stuttgart, Germany

The CV transition (or PIVOT) is an area at which the maximum of new spectral information coincides with rapidly rising intensity. These acoustic characteristics of PIVOTs are among the most salient events in speech. It has been shown that spectral changes whose response in the auditory nerve is predominantly an onset of firing (like in the CV transition) are much more perceptually salient than those producing an offset. The auditory salience of the acoustic event at the transition to the vowel has been described as an ideal mark for the synchronization of the segmental and the prosodic stream. Indeed research on the perception of pitch and duration underscores the role of the PIVOT. In this study I argue that PIVOT is a landmark for articulatory phasing as well. In the acoustic investigation of CCV and VCC stopclusters in Polish I show that PIVOT is impervious to gestural overlap. The fact that there are no significant differences in transitions between CV and CCV syllables shows that speech rate is implemented as temporal compression (higher articulatory STIFFNESS) and not as gestural overlap in initial clusters. It is suggested that the implementation of the articulatory STIFFNESS parameter is dependent on the auditory salience restrictions and that it is highly correlated with the PIVOT.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Dogil, Grzegorz (1999): "Acoustic landmarks and prosodic asymmetries", In ICPhS-14, 2105-2108.