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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Underlying Targets of Initial Glides - Evidence from Focus-Related F0 Alignments in English

Fang Liu, Yi Xu

University of Chicago, USA

In connected speech, initial glides such as /j/ and /w/ often manifest hardly any steady-state formant patterns. In this paper, however, we report data suggesting that, despite their rapid formant movements, glides might have underlyingly static targets. The evidence was revealed when we attempted to determine syllable boundaries involving initial glides as well as the retroflex, using focus-related F0 alignment in syllables with initial nasals as reference. In addition to finding that the likely onset of a glide or retroflex is much earlier than what is acoustically the most obvious, i.e., the point where formants reach their extremes, we also found that the location of those extreme points was in fact sequentially analogous to the point of nasal release. With this alignment pattern, the entire interval of a glide seemed to consist of a formant trajectory toward a horizontal asymptote, suggesting a static rather than dynamic target.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Liu, Fang / Xu, Yi (2003): "Underlying targets of initial glides - evidence from focus-related F0 alignments in English", In ICPhS-15, 1887-1890.