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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Neutralization and Transparency Effects in Consonant Clusters in Polish

Joan Castellví-Vives

Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

In phonetic descriptions, Polish is presented as a language in which sonorants are transparent to voice assimilation (VA). In the present paper we review phonetic data on which phonological analyses of VA in Polish are based. Our analysis provides statistical data from spectrographic analysis of the occurrence of opacity, transparency, sonorant devoicing, elision and the length of relevant segments in the realization of consonant clusters. Two claims are made: 1) according to our data, opacity, regular VA and sonorant elision are more pervasive than transparency; phonological analyses do not take into account cases of sonorant devoicing or elision which, consequently, count as transparency; the high proportion of sonorant devoicing and elision is therefore too important a fact to be ignored; 2) Another parameter when analyzing Polish consonant clusters and transparency effects is the length of the sonorant, which is the basis of "Licensing by cue". Our results confirm that there are no regularities that relate sonorant length to voicing contrast of the preceding obstruent.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Castellví-Vives, Joan (2003): "Neutralization and transparency effects in consonant clusters in Polish", In ICPhS-15, 2765-2768.