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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Aerodynamic Characteristics of Onset and Coda Fricatives

Maria-Josep Solé

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

This paper explores the differences in the aerodynamic characteristics for syllable onset and coda fricatives. Such differences may account for the weakening (i.e., loss, aspiration or gliding) of syllable final fricatives found in a variety of languages. Simultaneous oropharyngeal pressure, airflow and audio-signal were obtained for two American English speakers. Aerodynamic and acoustic analysis showed that coda fricatives exhibit (i) a slower P_o build-up, (ii) a lower pressure peak, (iii) a delayed onset of audible frication, and (iv) a lower intensity of frication vis-a-vis onset fricatives. In order to provide high flow for frication, voiceless fricatives show a larger glottal opening ( i.e., a larger increase in flow) at the end of the preceding vowel in coda than onset position, suggesting compensatory maneuvers. It is argued that the aerodynamic data are compatible with a reduced oral gesture for coda fricatives, which may make it more difficult to meet the aerodynamic requirements for audible frication.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Solé, Maria-Josep (2003): "Aerodynamic characteristics of onset and coda fricatives", In ICPhS-15, 2761-2764.