VOICE COARTICULATION IN C#[V] CONSONANTAL CLUSTERS ACROSS WORD BOUNDARIES IN RUSSIAN: NEW FINDINGS
Voice Coarticulation in C#[v] Consonantal Clusters Across Word Boundaries in Russian: New Findings
The article presents the results of the experimental study of the phonetic realization of combinations of two homorganic plosive sounds at the junction of phonetic words in the modern Russian language. The conducted experiment shows that in the considered positions as a result of the co-articulation rules a single plosive is formed, having subject to the accent phrase structure, the closure with the duration from 30 to 200 msec. The author also singles out the acoustic parameters owing to which the opposition of plosives on the basis of hardness-softness characteristic at the junction of phonetic words and at the junction of the catchword with enclitic is preserved.
The paper reports some results of the research, aimed at finding out whether regressive and / or progressive voice coarticulation available in clusters of homorganic labiodental consonants /v/ + /v/ in an external sandhi position in Modern Standard Russian may serve as a cue for detecting the location and depth of prosodic breaks. Combinations of labiodental fricatives /v/ + /v/ at the word junctures result in [ff], [vv] or [fv] pronunciation (with the decreasing abundance) in Modern Standard Russian. The percentage ratio of the above mentioned pronunciation types depends on the strength of the prosodic break between two words: • in the position within an intonation group (no prosodic break) [ff] pronunciation appears fairly stable and makes about 70% of the total case number, while the percentage of [fv] pronunciation (corresponding to the absence of the coarticulation) varies in the range of 1% – 11%. • in the position around prosodic break between two words group [fv] pronunciation detected in more then 80% out of the total case number studied.
Word-final labialized consonants as a cue for detecting prosodic breaks in Standard Russian
The article describes the realization of consonant clusters in external sandhi position in Modern Standard Russian that include so-called "unpronounced consonants" – dental occlusive obstruents that may be omitted in certain positions. The research shows that the realization of these clusters depends on the place of word juncture and that palatalized consonants tend to be omitted more regularly than the velarized.
4th International Scienti칁c Conference “Contemporary Research in Phonetics and Phonology: Methods, Aspects and Problems”, Riga, May 11–12, 2017. Abstracts.
The paper describes a phonetic experiment that dealt with the place assimilation of voiceless palatalized alveolar fricative /sj/ by following postalveolar alveo-palatal fricative /ɕ:/ at word boundaries in Modern Standard Russian. As the former sibilant is commonly described as geminated sound and Russian prohibits long consonants in positions near other consonants, the assimilation process can potentially lead to neutralization in such minimal pairs of word combinations as проявила щедрость ‘(she) showed generosity’ and проявилась щедрость ‘generosity showed itself’.
The participants of the experiment, 20 native Russian speakers (10 men and 10 women aged 18 to 40), were instructed to read a list of sentences that included 8 minimal pairs of target word combinations embedded in carrier phrases. All stimuli were recorded in intervocalic position; phrasal accent on stimuli was avoided; accent structure of the target word combinations was deliberately varied (clusters were recorded in all possible positions with regard to stressed and unstressed vowels).
All recordings were analyzed using computer software Praat. The duration and homogeneity of fricative noise were measured. Spectral analysis showed that in 78% of tokens place assimilation of sibilants at word boundaries was complete. The measurements of duration confirmed that this parameter could vary widely, mostly in connection with stress. The duration of [ɕ(:)] sounds within minimal pairs pronounced by the same speaker showed that in similar conditions in 95,5% of cases the sound representing the underlying /sj#ɕ:/ was longer than the surface representation of the underlying /#ɕ:/ (mean difference 34,9 ms; mean duration ratio 1,26).
In order to find out whether these durational differences can be used by native speakers to distinguish minimal pairs a perception experiment was conducted. 15 native speakers, students aged 17-19, were presented with 35 stimuli (word consequences recorded during the described above experiment, but removed from phrasal context; the duration of the fricative varied widely from 135 to 202 ms). The participants’ task was to write down what they think they heard. Their responses demonstrated that they could not reliably distinguish tokens with place assimilation of underlying /sj/ (the number of correct guesses was at a chance rate – 50,8%) and tokens without underlying /sj/ (the number of correct guesses was only slightly larger – 57,1%) despite the significant durational differences.
The described phenomenon can be interpreted as a case of incomplete neutralization. The experiments showed that the neutralization of /#ɕ:/ and /sj#ɕ:/ at word boundaries in Russian is phonetically incomplete due to the significant durational differences between the produced fricatives, although these acoustic cues were not used by native speakers in distinguishing minimal pairs.