The Timing of Lip Rounding and Tongue Backing for /u/

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Ohio State University. Department of Linguistics

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A small corpus of X-ray microbeam data was examined to test the predictions made by two well-known views of anticipatory coarticulation: time locking and feature spreading. Lip rounding and tongue backing associated with English /u/ were investigated. The token types were VCnV sequences where V = /i, u/ and C = /s, t/, consonants which are assumed to be neutral with respect to the features under study. The lip and jaw pellets were rotated in such a way that their principal component of movement was in the vertical dimension. In the /iCnu/ tokens there was no evidence for either time locking or feature spreading of the onset of lip rounding. However, other articulatory phenomena are temporally regulated. The timing of both the maximum point of lip rounding and of tongue backing was fixed relative to the acoustic onset of /u/. These results may provide evidence for the idea of fixed targets in speech production.




Working Papers in Linguistics, no. 43 (1994), 30-40.