15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)
An acoustical study was conducted to determine how variable degrees
of segmental stricture influence the phonetic realization of a following
word-initial /ɾ/. Four Spanish speakers produce sequences
of (x) ## /ɾ/, where (x) corresponds to five distinct
points along a continuum of continuancy and [r] is predicted allophonically.
Measurements of duration, relative intensity, and number of apico-alveolar contacts indicate that higher degrees of pre-rhotic stricture promote stronger and more sustainable trills- at least in post-consonantal environments- due to increased oropharyngeal pressure built behind the stricture site initiating the vibratory state of the tongue apex and thus sustaining a trilled phone. Degree of stricture seems to be less of a factor for trills occurring in post-vocalic and post-pausal position, the high success rate of trilled phones produced in these contexts being largely attributed to speakers' ability to control tongue position and thus the aperture and size of the air channel.
Bibliographic reference. Lewis, Anthony M. (2003): "Continuancy and the aerodynamics of /r/ production in Spanish", In ICPhS-15, 423-426.