Incomplete neutralization and other sub-phonemic durational differences in production and perception: Evidence from Dutch

Natasha Warner, Allard Jongman, Joan Sereno, Rachèl Kemps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

87 Scopus citations

Abstract

Words which are expected to contain the same surface string of segments may, under identical prosodic circumstances, sometimes be realized with slight differences in duration. Some researchers have attributed such effects to differences in the words' underlying forms (incomplete neutralization), while others have suggested orthographic influence and extremely careful speech as the cause. In this paper, we demonstrate such sub-phonemic durational differences in Dutch, a language which some past research has found not to have such effects. Past literature has also shown that listeners can often make use of incomplete neutralization to distinguish apparent homophones. We extend perceptual investigations of this topic, and show that listeners can perceive even durational differences which are not consistently observed in production. We further show that a difference which is primarily orthographic rather than underlying can also create such durational differences. We conclude that a wide variety of factors, in addition to underlying form, can induce speakers to produce slight durational differences which listeners can also use in perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-276
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Phonetics
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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