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Linguistics Articulatory Phonetics
by
Marie K. Huffman

Introduction

Articulatory phonetics is concerned with the physical apparatus used to produce speech sounds and the physical and cognitive factors that determine what are possible speech sounds and sound patterns. Given the common understanding that speech articulation is an integrated part of a communication system that also includes speech perception, articulatory phonetics is usually treated within a broader context of the full speech chain, which additionally includes speech aerodynamics, speech acoustics, and speech perception. Consequently, the research reports and reference and teaching tools in the field are dispersed over a wide range of works that treat phonetics more generally. Because of the enormous size of the relevant literature, only more recent or particularly comprehensive earlier works are highlighted here. Key theoretical questions in articulatory phonetics include what units are used in speech planning and which aspects of observed speech movements are learned as part of a particular language rather than being a consequence of how the speech mechanism works (whether this is physical constraints of the actual speech organs or cognitive aspects of speech motor planning and execution). Cross-linguistic investigations of speech sound inventories and articulation have been critical to clarifying this distinction. Another long-standing question is whether and how articulation planning is influenced by knowledge of the acoustic outcome and its importance to maintaining distinctions critical to the perceptual needs of the “listener” as a generic or a specific entity. Discussions of historical sound change have appealed both to organic constraints and to ambiguities in the acoustic-articulatory mapping process as factors that influence the source and path of pronunciation change over time.

Textbooks

Textbook treatments of articulatory phonetics range from brief descriptions of articulatory categories to in-depth physiological and anatomical descriptions underlying clinical assessment and treatments. Many linguistics-oriented texts include little or no discussion of research instrumentation and methodology. More clinically oriented texts treat this topic more but have little or no reference to language data or foreign-language examples. Ladefoged and Johnson 2011 is a linguistically oriented textbook with a moderate amount of articulatory information. Ashby and Maidment 2005 and Hewlett and Beck 2006 provide more articulatory detail while still including some cross-linguistic coverage. The former has more illustrations with original data, while the latter has somewhat more in the way of summary graphics that aid the learner. Marchal 2009 is a speech physiology text for linguists. Ferrand 2007 as a whole is intended for a more clinical audience, but the introductory material is presented so as to be fully accessible to nonclinicians. Zemlin 1981 is a classic anatomy and physiology book for speech scientists.

  • Ashby, Michael, and John A. Maidment. 2005. Introducing phonetic science. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    A general introduction that gives more than the usual attention to phonation and airstream mechanisms. Articulatory descriptions are supplemented with figures from electropalatography (EPG), video, imaging, and acoustics. Concepts are illustrated with examples from a variety of languages. Other useful textbook features include vocabulary lists, suggested readings, and solutions to exercises.

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  • Ferrand, Carole T. 2007. Speech science: An integrated approach to theory and clinical practice. Boston: Pearson Allyn and Bacon.

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    A compact introduction to speech science, covering more anatomy and physiology than most linguistic phonetic textbooks and with a more in-depth discussion of experimental techniques. Chapters on basics and clinical applications are interleaved, so the reader lacking a clinical focus easily accesses the foundational material. Chapter objectives and summaries are helpful textbook features.

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  • Hewlett, Nigel, and J. Mackenzie Beck. 2006. An introduction to the science of phonetics. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

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    A good general introduction, including discussion of the anatomy and physiology of phonation and oral articulation. A special strength is the many visual aids—sketches, photos, and instrumental data. It also includes many graphs representing the temporal complexity of speech and an overview of experimental methods (see also Experimental Methods). Also provides solutions to exercises.

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  • Ladefoged, Peter, and Keith Johnson. 2011. A course in phonetics. 6th ed. Boston: Wadsworth.

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    A popular textbook that includes a basic articulatory description of English sounds as well as sounds of other languages.

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  • Marchal, Alain. 2009. From speech physiology to linguistic phonetics. London: International Society for Technology in Education.

    DOI: 10.1002/9780470611869Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An introduction to speech physiology intended specifically for the linguist. Multiple summary tables and figures do much to help organize the many taxonomic terms covered. A full chapter is dedicated to articulator coordination and related aspects of speech planning. A fairly brief cross-linguistic articulatory typology is also included.

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  • Zemlin, Willard R. 1981. Speech and hearing science: Anatomy and physiology. 2d ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

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    A detailed general introduction to anatomy and physiology, but with no specific reference to linguistic concepts. First edition 1968.

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Journals

As with textbooks, articulatory phonetics is treated in journals that cover a broader range of topics. Some journals (Journal of the International Phonetic Association, Journal of Phonetics, Laboratory Phonology, Phonetica) focus primarily on the place of articulation research within linguistic phonetics or as part of the linguistic component of cognitive science, while others (Language and Speech) address the wider topic of speech and communication or basic and applied research relevant to diagnosis and treatment of clinical populations (Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research). The acoustic outcomes of speech articulation are covered in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and in all of the other journals mentioned. There is a great deal of crossover among the general divisions noted here, so again the field of potential information sources is rather diverse.

Edited Collections

With few works devoted solely to articulatory phonetics, the majority of works cited in this bibliography are journal articles or chapters in edited volumes. Individual articles on specific topics are cited under the more specific section headings when possible. Here are cited a few collected volumes that have been particularly influential (Hardcastle and Marchal 1990, MacNeilage 1983) or have special characteristics that make them outstanding general reference works that include discussion of articulation (Hardcastle and Laver 1997; Solé, et al. 2007).

  • Hardcastle, William J., and John Laver. 1997. The handbook of phonetic sciences. Oxford: Blackwell.

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    A well-constructed collection of general introductory articles by leading scholars, intended as a starting reference for graduate students.

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  • Hardcastle, William J., and Alain Marchal. 1990. Speech production and speech modelling. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic.

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    An early collection presenting foundational ideas on coarticulation and theories and models of articulatory organization and timing.

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  • MacNeilage, Peter F. 1983. The production of speech. New York: Springer.

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    A rich and oft-cited early collection. Contributions on physiology and movement include discussions of laryngeal gestures, coordination of movement, and economy of gesture. Linguistically oriented contributions include a taxonomy of cross-linguistic data on possible consonant contrasts and the ways vocal tract properties constrain the sounds favored in language change.

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  • Solé, Maria-Josep, Patrice Speeter Beddor, and Manjari Ohala. 2007. Experimental approaches to phonology. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    A diverse collection including contributions on articulatory modeling as well as investigation of which properties of speech result purely from physical-mechanical aspects of the speech production system. The volume also addresses methodological issues, such as the universality of syllable structure and the segmental bias in experiments on speech production and perception.

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Terminology and Descriptive Primitives

Articulatory description has always been challenged by the continuity and complexity of the speech apparatus. While there are a few distinct articulators (e.g., lips, teeth), there are also regions (tongue, top of the mouth) that have no distinct landmarks to provide straightforward categories for a taxonomy of sound production. Similarly, articulator movements involve few identifiable stable points of reference (stop constriction onset and release being perhaps the best candidates). Catford 1982 and Ladefoged and Maddieson 1996 present very detailed descriptive systems for location and shape of articulations, especially of consonants; the latter presents an extended symbol set for consonants as well. International Phonetic Association 2009 presents a somewhat more constrained set of terms and symbolic conventions. Articulatory phonetic terms appear variably within more general glossaries and dictionaries of linguistics (see Roach 2000). Laver 1994 and Marchal 2009 provide particularly helpful summary graphics organizing the many descriptive terms for cross-linguistic articulatory phonetics. Textbooks and general overviews (see Textbooks) usually provide fairly abbreviated glossaries.

  • Catford, John C. 1982. Fundamental problems in phonetics. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press.

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    Contains some of the most detailed descriptions of articulation processes and related aerodynamic events to be found in a general reference work. Also presents an extensive set of descriptive terms for speech sounds and their articulatory content.

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  • International Phonetic Association. 2009. Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Presents a set of phonetic symbols along with information about their implementation within computer applications and illustrations of application of the alphabet to characterize a variety of languages. Language demonstrations include a brief discussion of segment inventory with example words and transcription of a passage spoken in the language.

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  • Ladefoged, Peter, and Ian Maddieson. 1996. The sounds of the world’s languages. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

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    A synthesis of several decades of instrumental research done by the authors on the range of sounds employed in human languages. Includes proposed descriptive terms and phonetic symbols for the diverse set of sounds presented. The majority of sounds discussed are exemplified with articulatory, aerodynamic, or acoustic data.

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  • Laver, John. 1994. Principles of phonetics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    A rich general reference book in linguistic phonetics. Detailed descriptions of articulatory fundamentals are detailed and clear. Summary figures and tables give the reader a clear picture of the terminological taxonomies presented. Examples from ample languages support the presentation. Suggestions for further reading are also provided.

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  • Marchal, Alain. 2009. From speech physiology to linguistic phonetics. London: International Society for Technology in Education.

    DOI: 10.1002/9780470611869Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An introduction to speech physiology intended specifically for the linguist. Multiple summary tables and figures do much to help organize the many taxonomic terms covered. A full chapter is dedicated to articulator coordination and related aspects of speech planning. A fairly brief cross-linguistic articulatory typology is also included.

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  • Roach, Peter. 2000. English phonetics and phonology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    A phonetically focused compilation of terms, with good representation of common usage. Includes terms particularly useful in a teaching context. Also available online by subscription.

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Experimental Methods

Basic articulator locations are commonly assessed using ultrasound (Stone 2005) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (Bresch, et al. 2008). Articulator movements are assessed using various pellet-tracking systems, such as electromagnetic articulography (EMA), or a tracking system in combination with ultrasound, as discussed in Whalen, et al. 2005. Finer details of oral articulator contact location and extent are assessed using electropalatography, as illustrated in Gibbon and Nicolaidis 1999. Velum position can be assessed with the imaging methods just mentioned and has also been studied with more specialized physical and aerodynamic methods (see Krakow and Huffman 1993). Laryngeal function can be assessed with photoglottography and electroglottography, as demonstrated in Childers, et al. 1990. In addition, aerodynamic measures have been used to infer facts about laryngeal function (Holmberg, et al. 1988). Hoole, et al. 1999 discusses additional techniques, including fiber-optic endoscopy.

  • Bresch, Erik, Yoon-Chul Kim, Krishna Nayak, Dani Byrd, and Shrikanth Narayanan. 2008. Seeing speech: Capturing vocal tract shaping using real-time magnetic resonance imaging. IEEE Signal Processing Magazine 25.3: 123–132.

    DOI: 10.1109/MSP.2008.918034Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Overview of data acquisition and analysis for real-time MRI studies of speech. Includes a comparison with other imaging technologies and brief examples of applications to psycholinguistic and linguistic research questions.

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  • Childers, D. G., D. M. Hicks, G. P. Moore, L. Eskenazi, and A. L. Lalwani. 1990. Electroglottography and vocal fold physiology. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research 33:245–254.

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    Discusses correlations between measures of the electroglottographic waveform and data on glottal contact and position calculated from real-time photography of the larynx. Electroglottography (EGG) is seen to be a useful supplement to other measures of laryngeal function.

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  • Gibbon, Fiona, and Katerina Nicolaidis. 1999. Palatography. In Coarticulation: Theory, data, and techniques. Edited by William Hardcastle and Nigel Hewlett, 229–245. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    An introduction to palatographic apparatuses as well as analysis techniques with generous illustrations. Examples of palatographic output for a number of speech sounds demonstrate well the potential of this method.

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  • Holmberg, E. B., R. E. Hillman, and J. S. Perkell. 1988. Glottal airflow and transglottal air pressure measurements for male and female speakers in soft, normal, and loud voice. Journal of the Acoustic Society of America 84:511–529.

    DOI: 10.1121/1.396829Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Illustrates investigation of glottal function via aerodynamic data. Reports results of inverse filtering of airflow for twenty-five male and twenty female speakers at three levels of loudness. Analysis of resultant glottal airflow waveforms finds that male and female speakers differ less in soft voice than in normal and loud voice.

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  • Hoole, Philip, Chirster Gobl, and Ailbhe Ni Chasaide. 1999. Techniques for investigating laryngeal articulation. In Coarticulation: Theory, data, and techniques. Edited by William Hardcastle and Nigel Hewlett, 294–321. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    The first part of this book chapter focuses on methods of studying the devoicing/glottal abduction gesture, including fiberscopic endoscopy and glottal transillumination. The second part focuses on assessing the pattern of vocal fold vibration using inverse filtering of glottal airflow data.

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  • Krakow, Rena, and Marie Huffman. 1993. Instruments and techniques for investigating nasalization and velopharyngeal function in the laboratory: An introduction. In Nasals, nasalization, and the velum. Edited by Marie Huffman and Rena Krakow, 3–59. Phonetics and Phonology 5. San Diego, CA: Academic.

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    A review of methodology for studying velum movement and position. Includes discussion of methodologies also applicable to other articulatory organs, such as pellet tracking and electromyography.

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  • Stone, Maureen. 2005. A guide to analyzing tongue motion from ultrasound images. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics 19.6–7: 455–502.

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    Part of a special issue of the journal dedicated to ultrasound. Explains the fundamental concepts underlying the ultrasound methodology as well as detailed discussion of equipment functions, data acquisition, and data analysis procedures.

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  • Whalen, Douglas, Khalil Iskarous, Mark Tiede, David Ostry, Heike Lehnert-LeHouillier, Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson, and Donald Hailey. 2005. The Haskins Optically Corrected Ultrasound System (HOCUS). Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 48.3: 543–553.

    DOI: 10.1044/1092-4388(2005/037)Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reviews the history of speech imaging and describes an articulatory data acquisition system that can correct for movements of the head by tracking head movements with pellets, the benefit being freer motion for the subject and thus more natural speech and easier participation by more subjects, including clinical populations.

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Units of Articulation

While the movements involved in speech production are to some extent observable, the mental representations underlying speech production can be deduced only from observed behaviors. There has been long-standing and lively debate about the form of the representations underlying speech planning. While lexical contrasts seem to involve oppositions in serially ordered, individual, segment-sized units, much recent articulatory research has recognized the importance of units representing coordinated individual articulatory gestures. Sproat and Fujimura 1993 and Gick, et al. 2006 document the articulatory complexity of individual speech sounds, arguing that allophones involve differing strengths and differing temporal alignment of the target gestures that make up a sound. Browman and Goldstein 1990 and many other works have argued for the articulatory gesture as the basic (and constant) unit of speech representations, partly on evidence that apparent segment deletions actually involve gesture overlap and/or lenition rather than deletion. Complementary work on apparent segmental insertions has also been used to argue for a gestural representation, as in the Davidson 2006 discussion of presumed vowel epenthesis. Further support for the importance of gestures as fundamental units comes from work on speech errors (Goldstein, et al. 2007). Gafos 2002 proposes an elaborated model of how the temporal structure of speech may be incorporated into representations. Articulation research has also addressed the status of the syllable as a distinct unit of articulatory organization, with a number of works arguing that syllable structure is not an additional level of representation but simply a representation of particular patterns of gestural coordination (e.g., Nam, et al. 2009); see also The Role of Prosody. On the other hand, Ladd and Scobbie 2003 (cited under The Role of Prosody) argues that certain cases of external sandhi (segmental changes across word boundaries) cannot be characterized as due only to gestural-level modifications.

  • Browman, Catherine P., and Louis Goldstein. 1990. Gestural specification using dynamically-defined articulatory structures. Journal of Phonetics 18:299–320.

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    Describes how the gestural representations of articulatory phonology are related to speech outputs, by using task dynamics. An illustration of the model demonstrates how apparent vowel deletions in weak syllables (e.g., beret) may be understood as simple changes in gestural coordination rather than a discrete change in representation content.

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  • Davidson, Lisa. 2006. Schwa elision in fast speech: Segmental deletion or gestural overlap? Phonetica 63:79–112.

    DOI: 10.1159/000095304Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A detailed analysis of acoustic data on English words that can “lose” schwa. Durations and voicing patterns suggest that gesture overlap masks or obscures the vowel rather than the vowel’s being deleted from the representation.

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  • Gafos, Adamantios. 2002. A grammar of gestural coordination. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 20.2: 269–337.

    DOI: 10.1023/A:1014942312445Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This paper describes a particular view of articulatory representations in the spirit of articulatory phonology (à la Browman and Goldstein 1990), in which gestural coordination is hypothesized to refer to a set of gesture landmarks that constitute the internal structure of gestures.

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  • Gick, Bryan, Fiona Campbell, Sunyoung Oh, and Linda Tamburri-Watt. 2006. Toward universals in the gestural organization of syllables: A cross-linguistic study of liquids. Journal of Phonetics 34.1: 49–72.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.wocn.2005.03.005Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Application of ultrasound to a cross-linguistic analysis of liquids in six languages. Illustrates the range of gesture combinations and coordination patterns possible cross-linguistically. Argues that the consequences of syllable structure for gesture coordination are more varied cross-linguistically than previously assumed.

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  • Goldstein, Louis, Marianne Pouplier, Larissa Chen, Elliot Saltzman, and Dani Byrd. 2007. Dynamic action units slip in speech production errors. Cognition 103:386–412.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2006.05.010Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This paper provides additional support for gestures as representational primitives by demonstrating that commonly it is gestures, rather than whole segments, that are anticipated or that persevere to produce “errorful” forms.

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  • Nam, Hosung, Louis Goldstein, and Elliot Saltzman. 2009. Self-organization of syllable structure: A coupled oscillator model. In Approaches to phonological complexity. Edited by François Pellegrino, Egidio Marsico, and Ioana Chitoran, 299–328. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

    DOI: 10.1515/9783110223958Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Discusses how syllable structure in general and certain common patterns in syllable structure and acquisition follow from principles of consonant-vowel gesture coupling as well as the notion of competition between gestures that are all coupled to the same vowel.

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  • Sproat, Richard, and Osamu Fujimura. 1993. Allophonic variation in English /l/ and its implications for phonetic implementation. Journal of Phonetics 21:291–311.

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    A highly influential paper that uses X-ray microbeam data to document extensive variability in apical and dorsal tongue gestures for English /l/. Argues against descriptions of two distinct /l/ allophones, instead proposing that kinematic effects of syllable position and duration determine /l/ quality.

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The Role of Prosody

“Prosody” refers to properties of sounds defined by structures or relations that are defined over more than one sound. Discussions of prosodic effects normally address both matters of relative prominence and the effects on articulation of various kinds of prosodic domain boundaries. Syllable structure is often defined articulatorily as a matter of coordination between articulatory gestures. Stress affects different gestural combinations (e.g., CV [consonant-vowel] versus VC [vowel-consonant] groupings), or sounds in different intrasyllabic configurations, in distinct ways, so often syllables and stress effects are treated together. Krakow 1999 and Byrd, et al. 2009 discuss timing and stress effects within syllables. The effects of stress, accent, and proximity to boundaries of higher-level units, such as prosodic words and phrases, are discussed in Cho and Keating 2009, while Byrd, et al. 2006 discusses the temporal extent of phrasal boundary effects. Beckman, et al. 1992 compares the effects on articulator movements of word boundaries versus changes in tempo. Ladd and Scobbie 2003 presents an alternative view that supports segments as phonological units. Saltzman, et al. 2008 discusses elaborations of gestural models that can handle a variety of prosodic effects, including syllable and higher-level prosodic domains.

  • Beckman, M. E., J. Edwards, and J. Fletcher. 1992. Prosodic structure and tempo in a sonority model of articulatory dynamics. In Gesture, segment, prosody. Edited by Gerard J. Docherty and D. Robert Ladd, 68–86. Papers in Laboratory Phonology 2. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Data on optical tracking of jaw movements near phrase boundaries are used to argue that boundary effects involve lengthening produced by local gesture slowing, which may be supported by a change in gesture timing. Boundary effects are argued to involve a higher-level coordinating representation beyond the individual coordinated component gestures.

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  • Byrd, Dani, Jelena Krivopic, and Sungbok Lee. 2006. How far, how long: On the temporal scope of prosodic boundary effects. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 120.3: 1589–1599.

    DOI: 10.1121/1.2217135Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Presents data from electromagnetometry, examining how many segments near a phrasal boundary are affected by phrase-final lengthening. Also reports some evidence of a form of postboundary compensatory shortening. The results support a model in which boundary-related lengthening is modeled as activation of a local phrasal-slowing gesture.

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  • Byrd, Dani, Stephen Tobin, Erik Bresch, and Shrikanth Narayanan. 2009. Timing effects of syllable structure and stress on nasals: A real-time MRI examination. Journal of Phonetics 37:97–110.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.wocn.2008.10.002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Discusses real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data on coordination of tongue tip and velum movement. Syllable structure affects gesture coordination largely as reported in previous research. Stress of a neighboring vowel also affects gestural coordination, with the stressed syllable “attracting” the velum-lowering gesture. Syllable and stress effects interact for intervocalic nasals.

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  • Cho, Taehong, and Patricia Keating. 2009. Effects of initial position versus prominence in English. Journal of Phonetics 37:466–485.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.wocn.2009.08.001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Example of the application of electropalatography (EPG) and the hybrid use of articulatory and acoustic data to infer facts about articulatory planning and execution. Results include evidence of temporally extensive influence of phrase accent and domain-initial strengthening.

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  • Krakow, Rena A. 1999. Physiological organization of syllables: A review. Journal of Phonetics 27:23–54.

    DOI: 10.1006/jpho.1999.0089Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reviews the literature on the relation between gestural coordination patterns and syllable position and considers how defining syllables as coordination patterns gives insight into cross-language patterns in syllable onset and coda composition.

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  • Ladd, D. Robert, and James M. Scobbie. 2003. External sandhi as gestural overlap? Counterevidence from Sardinian. In Phonetic Interpretation. Edited by John Local, Richard Ogden, and Rosalind Temple, 164–182. Papers in Laboratory Phonology 6. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Presents durational data on consonant clusters word-medially and across word boundaries that show no evidence of gradiency that would be predicted by a gestural overlap account of consonant sandhi. The categoriality of the duration data is taken as evidence that in such contexts Sardinian phonology manipulates segment-sized elements rather than gestures.

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  • Saltzman, Elliot, Hosung Nam, J. Krivokapic, and Louis Goldstein. 2008. A task-dynamic toolkit for modeling the effects of prosodic structure on articulation. In Speech Prosody 2008: Proceedings. Edited by P. A. Barbosa and S. Madureira, 175–184. Campinas, Brazil: Capes.

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    Reviews recent work modeling a variety of prosodic effects as patterns of intergestural phasing defined by reference to a hierarchy of cycle-planning oscillators that affect the timing and magnitude of gesture initiation and movement extent.

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Modeling Movement and Sources of Variation

People saying “the same thing” can produce articulations and acoustic outputs that are nonetheless very different. Individual differences within a linguistic community have been given relatively little attention in the literature. Individual differences between linguistic communities speaking the “same” language are addressed within sociophonetics. Work in this area has traditionally relied more on transcription and acoustic analysis than on articulatory data per se, though this is beginning to change (Lawson, et al. 2008). There has been more work on articulatory variation in individuals in situations where variation is taken to be conditioned by prosodic and segmental context. One general factor long held to condition the path of articulatory movements is the amount of time available, possibly interacting with the effort or force the speaker applies to the task, which in turn determines whether there is overshoot or undershoot of articulatory targets (Moon and Lindblom 1994). The effect of segmental context has often been handled under the general umbrella of “coarticulation,” which refers to overlap in articulatory goals (and outcomes) for neighboring sounds (Hardcastle and Hewlett 1999). Coarticulation between adjacent segmental targets can be computed based on a variety of views of what the core units of representation are (see also Units of Articulation). The Keating 1990 windows model is a constraint-based approach that treats segmental variation as restricted to allowable ranges within which prosodically generated variation is allowed. The gestural models of articulatory phonology treat segmental and prosodic effects with essentially the same representational primitives. Contextual segmental variation arises from the ways the competing demands of adjacent gestures are resolved, which are predicted to fall out from the basic settings for gestures’ kinematic variables and the ways gestures are coordinated. Prosodic effects are seen to follow from changes to kinematic variables, which can be influenced by specific “prosodic” gestures that affect local gesture timing (Byrd and Choi 2010 discusses the combined effect of segmental and prosodic effects on articulator movements). See also The Role of Prosody.

  • Browman, Catherine P., and Louis Goldstein. 1990. Tiers in articulatory phonology, with some implications for casual speech. In Between the grammar and physics of speech. Edited by John Kingston and Mary E. Beckman, 341–376. Papers in Laboratory Phonology 1. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Argues for gestural speech representations and their articulation via a model employing task dynamics. Support comes from evidence that supposed phonological deletions actually involve hidden gestures (e.g., perfec(t) memory) and that casual speech changes such as sound insertions or sound changes involve gestural modifications, such as overlap or reduced gesture amplitude.

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  • Byrd, Dani, and S. Choi. 2010. At the juncture of prosody, phonology, and phonetics. In The interaction of phrasal and syllable structure in shaping the timing of consonant gestures. Edited by Cécile Fougeron, 31–59. Papers in Laboratory Phonology 10. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

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    Magnetometer data for lip and tongue showing the interaction of boundary type and syllable position on articulatory overlap. The data suggest that syllable structure determines the basic gestural coordination for successive segments and that boundary-related adjustments produce local temporal warping, resulting in graded differences in gestural overlap.

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  • Hardcastle, William J., and Nigel Hewlett, eds. 1999. Coarticulation: Theory, data, and techniques. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    A collection of papers addressing theoretical models, data, and techniques pertaining to coarticulation. Chapters on instrumental techniques are also useful general presentations of experimental methods (see Experimental Methods).

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  • Keating, Patricia A. 1990. The window model of coarticulation: Articulatory evidence. In Between the grammar and physics of speech. Edited by John Kingston and Mary E. Beckman, 451–470. Papers in Laboratory Phonology 1. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Treats coarticulation as resulting from the interaction of ranges of target values for an articulator combined with an interpolation mechanism that finds paths through these “windows.” Language differences in quality and coarticulation are implemented via window widths and the range of values contained within windows as implementers of feature specification.

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  • Lawson, Eleanor, Jane Stuart-Smith, and James M. Scobbie. 2008. Articulatory insights into language variation and change: Preliminary findings from an ultrasound study of derhoticization in Scottish English. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 14.2.

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    Demonstrates the potential of ultrasound to identify subtle articulatory differences between sounds, including those that are barely perceptible and that may indicate the beginning of a sound change in progress. Also discusses subtle effects of phrase boundaries on coordination or oral and laryngeal gestures.

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  • Moon, Seung-Jae, and Björn Lindblom. 1994. Interaction between duration, context, and speaking style in English stressed vowels. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 96:40–55.

    DOI: 10.1121/1.410492Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Documents the inverse correlation of vowel duration with extent of effects that neighboring consonants have on a stressed vowel, proposing that vowel target undershoot, under temporal constraints, is a principled source of variation in vowel quality. Purposefully “clearer” vowels require both sufficient time and increased effort.

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Linguistic Diversity and Theoretical Implications

Documenting the range of articulatory phonetic phenomena in the world’s languages is a priority for both linguistic theoretical reasons and for sociocultural reasons. As better and more portable tools were developed for articulatory research, linguists began to gather more data on the range of articulations possible for the human vocal tract. Much of this work has taken place at universities when speakers of less studied languages could be found nearby. For going out “into the field” for data, more portable and less invasive data collection techniques, such as acoustic and aerodynamic techniques, are often employed (Ladefoged and Maddieson 1996; see also Experimental Methods). With social changes that have led to a smaller set of languages being used by a larger number of people over wider geographical and social domains, many languages have been lost completely with the deaths of the last native speakers. Scores of other languages are endangered, and there has been renewed interest by language communities and linguists in documenting their properties while it is still possible (the Summer Institute of Linguistics, or SIL, serves as one clearinghouse for information on endangered languages; see Endangered Languages). From a theoretical perspective, these diverse articulatory data make several contributions. First, common characteristics found across disparate and unrelated languages (see Maddieson 1984) are often taken as evidence of phonetic properties that may be physiologically or cognitively favored. On the other hand, language-specific traits demonstrate the depth of knowledge that native speakers acquire about their language (Ladefoged and Maddieson 1996 provides a compilation), informing theories of first-language (Li, et al. 2009) and second-language acquisition (e.g., Flege 2007) as well as theories of the mental representation of linguistic knowledge (Grazia Busa 2007, Kingston and Diehl 1994). In addition, at a more subtle level, diverse articulatory data are critical to understanding which aspects of actual articulatory movements arise from properties of the physical apparatus and which are linguistically determined, as discussed in Solé 2007. See also Modeling Movement and Sources of Variation.

  • Endangered Languages. Summer Institute of Linguistics International.

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    Maintained by the SIL, this is one of the more cohesive entry points into a somewhat disparate community of people concerned about language preservation.

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    • Flege, James. 2007. Language contact in bilingualism: Phonetic system interactions. In Laboratory phonology 9. Edited by Jennifer Cole and José I. Hualde, 353–382. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

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      Reviews consequences of the differences between first-language (L1) and second-language (L2) sound systems for the bilingual’s phonological categories and phonetic perception. Factors discussed include degree of perceived L1-L2 phonetic distance, neurological maturation, age-related differences in input, and changes in how the L1 and L2 phonetic subsystems interact.

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    • Grazia Busa, M. 2007. Coarticulatory nasalization and phonological developments. In Experimental approaches to phonology. Edited by Marie-Josep Solé, Patrice Speetor Beddor, and Manjari Ohala, 155–174. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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      A discussion of articulatory coordination patterns for similar sound sequences in English, Northern Italian, and Central Italian, indicating community-specific patterns of gestural coordination for nasal-fricative sequences that in turn affect degree of nasalization on preceding vowels. Implications for the impetus for differential patterns of sound change are also discussed.

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    • Kingston, John, and Randy Diehl. 1994. Phonetic knowledge. Language 70:419–454.

      DOI: 10.2307/416481Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Documents the diversity of phonetic properties marshaled by languages in support of seemingly similar sound contrasts cross-linguistically and argues for an abstract level of control at which the perceptual consequences partially determine the combination of articulatory movements speakers use. In support of linguistic sound contrasts.

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    • Ladefoged, Peter, and Ian Maddieson. 1996. The sounds of the world’s languages. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

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      A synthesis of several decades of instrumental research done by the authors on the range of sounds employed in human languages. Includes proposed descriptive terms and phonetic symbols for the diverse set of sounds presented. The majority of sounds discussed are exemplified with articulatory, aerodynamic, or acoustic data.

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    • Li, Fangfang, Jan Edwards, and Mary E. Beckman. 2009. Contrast and covert contrast: The phonetic development of voiceless sibilant fricatives in English and Japanese toddlers. Journal of Phonetics 37.1: 111–124.

      DOI: 10.1016/j.wocn.2008.10.001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      An example of acoustic analysis being used to analyze articulation patterns. Adult’s and children’s productions are compared for Japanese and English, showing fine differences in fricatives and their acquisition by children. Also argues that acquisition of contrasts involves subtle differences that a transcriber might not be able to hear.

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    • Maddieson, Ian. 1984. Patterns of sounds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

      DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511753459Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Reports sound inventories of a genetically diverse set of over three hundred languages. Trends in inventory composition are compared cross-linguistically in light of commonly held hypotheses about what are common properties of sound systems. Many of the data are available online as part of the World Atlas of Language Structures.

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    • Solé, Marie-Josep. 2007. Controlled and mechanical properties in speech. In Experimental approaches to phonology. Edited by Marie-Josep Solé, Patrice Speetor Beddor, and Manjari Ohala, 302–321. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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      Argues that data on variation in timing, such as speech rate effects, can be used to separate mechanical from phonetically controlled influences on articulation. Timing differences are used to illuminate speaker’s or linguistic control of vowel nasalization, stop voicing in syllable onsets, and vowel duration before obstruents differing in voicing.

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    LAST MODIFIED: 10/28/2011

    DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199772810-0053

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