Effects of obstruent voicing on vowel F0: Implications for laryngeal realism

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James Kirby
D. Robert Ladd


In this paper, we present data on obstruent-intrinsic F0 perturbations (CF0) in two [voice] languages, French and Italian. Voiceless obstruents in both languages are found to raise F0, while F0 following (pre)voiced obstruents patterns together with sonorants, similar to the voiceless unaspirated stops of [spread glottis] languages like German and English. The contextual stability of this cue implies that an active de-voicing gesture is common to languages of both the [voice] and [spread glottis] types, and undermines the idea that a strict binary dichotomy between true voicing and aspirating languages can be reliably inferred based on properties of the surface phonetics.


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Kirby, J., & Ladd, D. R. (2018). Effects of obstruent voicing on vowel F0: Implications for laryngeal realism. Yearbook of the Poznań Linguistic Meeting, 4(1), 213-235. https://doi.org/10.2478/yplm-2018-0009


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