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Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics


A series of vowel-identification experiments using gated consonant stimuli shows that English listeners are capable of recovering the vocalic context in which a consonant appears from information contained in the consonant alone. This is true for most consonants tested, including liquids, nasals, and stops in onset and coda position. Positional asymmetries in vowel sensitivity go in opposite directions for liquids (coda sensitivity > onset) and stops (onset > coda). Nasals pattern with liquids in terms of vowel sensitivity from consonant steady states alone, but pattern more closely with stops when portions outside the steady-state are taken into account. It is argued that these asymmetries are related to patterns of cluster-driven vowel compression (also called ‘compensatory shortening’) in speech production.

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Linguistics Commons



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