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From subtle to gross variation: an Ultrasound Tongue Imaging study of Dutch and Scottish English /r/ James M Scobbie Koen Sebregts Jane Stuart-Smith.

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Presentation on theme: "From subtle to gross variation: an Ultrasound Tongue Imaging study of Dutch and Scottish English /r/ James M Scobbie Koen Sebregts Jane Stuart-Smith."— Presentation transcript:

1 From subtle to gross variation: an Ultrasound Tongue Imaging study of Dutch and Scottish English /r/ James M Scobbie Koen Sebregts Jane Stuart-Smith

2 Overview: strong onsets, weak codas Rhotic consonants have been significant in developing phonetically- detailed theories of syllable-conditioned allophony, and of general phonetic correlates of the syllable (e.g. Krakow 1999). American English /r/ (Gick 2003) typifies the subtle low-level behaviour that can be conditioned by various consonants in different syllable roles, and acoustic “stability” (Nieto-Castenon et al., 2005). Comparable subtle variation in liquids can be found in other languages (Gick et al. 2005). However, /r/ encompasses a far greater articulatory and acoustic range, of far less subtlety, than has been considered to date. High-level or gross allophony emerges diachronically and exists in variation. –What is the phonetic detail of systems with obvious allophony? –How do abstract phonological categories such as “/r/” and “coda” relate to phonetic substance? –Can Exemplar Theory or Articulatory Phonology be applied to high-level phonological phenomena? –There is no “stability” in real language use – speech is socialised

3 Background Dutch /r/ & Scottish /r/ Wide phonetic variation in /r/ –Dutch sample of 400 speakers, 10 cities, stratified for sex and age, 22K Too many variants to list! Of particular interest, uvular trill onset/ [  ] coda –Scottish sample of 32 Glasgow speakers stratified for class, sex and age older speakers stronger forms[  ] [  ] [  ] [  ] younger ones [  ] [  ] [  ] [a  ] etc., [  ] etc., [  ] etc. Of particular interest: –Onset uvular trill vs. coda post-alveolar approximant –Derhoticising coda, more extreme weakening than US English –Sociolinguistic variation and change

4 General Method Ultrasound Tongue Imaging with synchronised acoustics QMUC system (25Hz) with helmet support & Articulate Assistant Materials are generally single citation forms Dutch subjects (general characteristics excluding intra-subj variation) –Onset and coda both uvular (n=5, only one usable for analysis) VW –Onset uvular trill, coda approximant (n=3) VDB, MS, RB –Onset and coda both post-alveolar approximants (n=1) VDL* –All recorded in Edinburgh, with varied personal histories. –Uvular trills hard to image? Many subjects unusable (n=4) Scottish pilot subject –One case of impressionistic derhoticisation (& one rhotic control speaker)

5 Summary and conclusions Current literature lacks –natural vernacular speech from stratified groups of subjects –phonological onset-coda allophony as well as phonetic ones –an explanation of how abstract phonological patterns arise Articulatory analysis of Dutch and Scottish revealed –Speaker whose uvular trill has extra pharyngealisation in coda –Approximant-only speakers who (partially) derhoticise by delaying strong rhotic blade gestures pre-pausally reducing anterior gestures to near zero in faster speech –Speakers with onset uvular trills and coda anterior approximants May add pharyngealisation in coda, or it may be present May add post-alveolar constriction in coda, or it may be present Tip-up approximant appears less transparently related to trill Theoretical relevance for exemplar theory and articulatory pL –Sociolinguistic distributions of acoustics are transformed into articulations –Acoustic/articulatory relationship must be seen in that context of variation

6 Onset & coda “the same” 1.Coda uvular trill in VW’s mier has retracted root (pharyngealisation) after /i/ (also after /u/ & /a/). Coda may be more vocalic, but is not obviously gesturally weaker. Not clear if this is typical. 2.Postalveolar approximant in mier strongly resembles riem (VDL*). It is in timing that onset / coda differ: coda has strong delay in tip raising (see dynamics & acoustics results) VW tip right VDL*

7 RB, tip up, has no posterior difference, coda is stronger VDB coda has new pharyngeal gesture, & similar anteriority MS coda also new pharyngeal & a stronger post-alveolar MS VDB RB Uvular riem vs. post-alveolar mier

8 MSVDB VDL*RB Tip up  Tip down  Approximant coda Variation in target (cf. Delattre & Freeman 1968 etc.) * VDL has approximant in onset too

9 RBVDL* MSVDB Acoustic Dynamics VDB is taken as an average baseline VDL* has longer “transition” and little steady state RB has longer vowel and little steady state MS has longer steady state

10 RB VDL* MS VDB Articulatory Dynamics VDL* has clear, late, tongue tip raising (examples of /ur/) A pharyngeal constriction tends to precede coronal one

11 Auditory analysis of Dutch… VDL* sounds highly derhoticised, especially after /a/ (same as Plug & Ogden 2002 & cf. transcriber variation) Other speakers sound rhotic but vary greatly in dynamics something else …and Scottish Stuart-Smith (2003, 2006) reveals derhoticisation of vernacular Scottish Weakened /r/ prevalent but phonetically variable No phonological change Conclusion how we sound varies… & matters in sociolinguistic variation and change

12 Acoustic analysis F2 & F3 at mid vowel, transition & rhotic (if present) After /a/ VDL* is derhoticised (F2 1531Hz, F3 2616Hz) After /i/ and /u/, VDL* also has less approximated F3/F2 (>850Hz) than other speakers (<450Hz) /ur/F2F3 VDB16001923 RB14911905 MS17601816 VDL*13442209 /ir/F2F3 VDB16682051 RB18642211 MS18251987 VDL*17692710

13 RB VDL* MS VDB Contrast before stops VDL* retains contrast before stops This is the context examined by Plug & Ogden (2002) Gestural pattern of tongue blade strongly differs

14 RB VDL* MSVDB Contrast before fricatives VDL* more non-rhotic in vowel portion Contrast appears to be cued by fricative Articulatorily /rs/ has a curving retracted approach

15 Late tip raising by VDL* Acoustic and impressionistic derhoticisation in prepausal or list medial position is achieved by delay of anterior gesture past the end of voicing. In fast/casual speech, for a word-final /r/ –Before a word-initial consonant, tip raising is greatly weakened. –Before a word-initial vowel, /r/ acts more like an onset – tapped

16 Pilot Scottish derhoticising speaker Onset is strongly rhotic, ambisyllabic is tap, coda is ??? Low vowels sound derhoticised, and acoustically lack F2/F3 approximation. (Cf. rhotic Scot) Articulatorily, gesture retained (cf. VDL*) car

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