15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)
Rhotacism is a well-known phonological process whereby dental/alveolar fricatives /s/-/z/ develop into a rhotic consonant, most commonly a flap or tap. Results of a previous experiment suggested that the simple manipulation of the temporal dimension can cause a categorical shift in the perception from a fricative to a flap. In this paper an experiment tested this further with speakers of American English, checking whether a reduction in duration could change the percept from /z/ to a flap. Results corroborate the previous findings. Some implications for the notions of gestural integrity are explored.
Bibliographic reference. Romero, Joaquin / Martin, Sidney (2003): "Articulatory weakening as basis of historical rhotacism", In ICPhS-15, 2825-2828.