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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

An Electromagnetic Articulography Study of Resyllabification of Rhotic Consonants in English

Richard Mullooly

Queen Margaret University College, UK

Recent instrumental work has focused on finding phonetic correlates of intervocalic consonants' syllabic affiliation. The importance of lexical stress as a determining factor word internally has been either acknowledged (Turk, 1980) or suggested (Nolan, 1994). There is much work in word internal contexts, but limited work across word boundaries. I examined word final intervocalic [ɹ] in non-rhotic English speech, with Electro-magnetic Articulography (EMA) using car out and peer out for stimuli, varying the emphatic stress environment. For two speakers, the lingual articulators moved more rapidly in the transition from word final [ɹ] to the following vowel when the word following was stressed. A Scottish rhotic speaker showed the same effect. The higher velocity suggests the consonant is more likely to be parsed as a syllable onset. I argue emphatic stress increases tension which accounts for the low velocity observed in tokens where the first word was stressed and that the stiffness parameter (k) of Articulatory Phonology is related to bio-mechanical stiffness.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Mullooly, Richard (2003): "An electromagnetic articulography study of resyllabification of rhotic consonants in English", In ICPhS-15, 2265-2268.