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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Models of Aspirated Stops in English

Helen M. Hanson, Kenneth N. Stevens

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

The releases of unvoiced aspirated stops in English are typically modeled as having three consecutive phases, which overlap somewhat in time: (1) transient, (2) frication, and (3) aspiration. Close examination of stop releases reveals that the aspiration phase is more complicated than has been assumed. In this paper we explore the possibility that frication generated during the third phase may dominate the aspiration noise. This frication may be an extension of that generated at the original supraglottal constriction, or may be additional frication generated at a tongue-body or pharyngeal constriction formed in anticipation of the following vowel. Results suggest some subjects follow the classical model, but other subjects produce a mix of frication and aspiration during the third phase. Nevertheless, listeners do not have trouble with identification. We suggest that speakers can choose between using an extended burst or formant transitions to provide enhancing cues to place of articulation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hanson, Helen M. / Stevens, Kenneth N. (2003): "Models of aspirated stops in English", In ICPhS-15, 783-786.