15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Perception of Prenasalized Stops

Patrice Speeter Beddor, Chutamanee Onsuwan

University of Michigan, USA

Prenasalized stops are estimated to occur in 10-15% of the world's languages, yet there has been little investigation of their perceptual characteristics. A series of acoustic and perceptual experiments was conducted on the prenasalized stops of the Bantu language Ikalanga. The main acoustic cues differentiating prenasalized stops (NC) from plain nasals (N) were a short post-nasal oral closure for NC and heavy coarticulatory vowel nasalization following N. Independent manipulation of these cues showed that Ikalanga listeners used both segmental and coarticulatory timing in identifying NC vs. N, although carryover coarticulatory nasalization was both a sufficient and necessary cue for the distinction. Comparable weighting of anticipatory nasalization was not found for tests of the NC-C distinction, although this different perceptual outcome is in keeping with Ikalanga acoustic patterns.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Beddor, Patrice Speeter / Onsuwan, Chutamanee (2003): "Perception of prenasalized stops", In ICPhS-15, 407-410.