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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Towards a Dynamical Representation for Gradient Allophony of Brazilian Portuguese Rhotics

Adelaide Hercilia P. Silva

Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil

Brazilian Portuguese (BP) rhotics occurring word-initially exhibit a gradient allophony that is prosodically conditioned, i.e., rhotics that are adjacent to strong word boundaries tend to be produced as trill variants. On the other hand, rhotics occurring after a weak prosodic boundary tend to be produced as fricative variants. Phonological models that take categorical primitives, like features, cannot handle with numerical facts, such as the ones we observe. Therefore, we propose a representation for BP rhotics in terms of their gestural scores, following Browman & Goldstein's Articulatory Phonology (Browman & Goldstein, 1992) and also Albano's (2001) Acoustic-Articulatory Phonology, in assuming that the gestural scores that represent each variant stay in the lexicon of the language and that the speaker selects one specific gestural score using a feed-forward mechanism, that allows him to "see" the prosodic structure of the sentence.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Silva, Adelaide Hercilia P. (2003): "Towards a dynamical representation for gradient allophony of Brazilian Portuguese rhotics", In ICPhS-15, 1863-1866.