Non-Segmental Conditioning of Sibilant Variation in American English

Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, 2018

5 Pages Posted: 13 May 2020

See all articles by Jacob Phillips

Jacob Phillips

University of Chicago

Daniel L. Chen

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France

Alan Yu

University of Chicago

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

Variation, both between and within speakers, is ubiquitous in language. Examining and understanding this variation is crucial not only to questions of socio-linguistics and sound change but also to the study of prosody and phonology more broadly. The present study contributes to the literature on inter and intra-speaker variation in speech production, examining the phonetic realization of prevocalic /s/ in American English using recordings from a longitudinal phonetic corpus of oral arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States. Specifically, this study examines the role of non-segmental factors conditioning the observed variation, focusing on prosodic prominence, segment duration, phonological contrast and lexical frequency. Significant effects for segment duration, speakers’ average /sh/ centroid frequency and word position were observed, with higher centroid frequency values observed in instances of /s/ with a longer relative duration, in word-initial positions, or for speakers with a higher mean /sh/ centroid frequency. There was also significant individual variation in the effects of duration, prosodic prominence and phonological contrast.

These results provide further evidence for place of articulation contrast strengthening in prominent positions with novel evidence for place of articulation contrast strengthening in sibilants.

Keywords: Corpus Phonetics, Inter-Speaker Variation, Intraspeaker Variation, Prominence, Lexical Frequency

Suggested Citation

Phillips, Jacob and Chen, Daniel L. and Yu, Alan, Non-Segmental Conditioning of Sibilant Variation in American English (2018). Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, 2018 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3579920

Jacob Phillips

University of Chicago

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Daniel L. Chen (Contact Author)

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France ( email )

Toulouse School of Economics
1, Esplanade de l'Université
Toulouse, 31080
France

Alan Yu

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
4
Abstract Views
38
PlumX Metrics