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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Continuancy and the Aerodynamics of /r/ Production in Spanish

Anthony M. Lewis

Syracuse University, USA

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.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lewis, Anthony M. (2003): "Continuancy and the aerodynamics of /r/ production in Spanish", In ICPhS-15, 423-426.