SRPP: Coarticulatory variability of vowels in Hungarian as measured in quality shift and across context variability

Andrea Deme (Eötvös Loránd Univ. Budapest, Lingual Articulation Research Group)
20 novembre 2020, 14h0015h30

Collaborative work with Márton Bartók1,2, Tamás Gábor Csapó2,3, Tekla Etelka Gráczi2,4, Kornélia Juhász1,2 and Alexandra Markó1,2

1Eötvös Loránd University, 2MTA-ELTE ”Lendület” Lingual Articulation Research Group, 3Budapest University of Technology and Economics, 4Research Institute for Linguistics HAS

In most studies, vowel-to-vowel coarticulation induced variability of vowels is identified as the distance of vowel realisations (as expressed in articulator positions or formant values) in coarticulated, e.g., [ihu], and neutral, e.g., [uhu], contexts, that is, in quality shift. This so called distance measure, is found to be conditioned by several parameters, e.g., vowel quality of the target vowel (especially openness), prosodic prominence of the target and the trigger vowels (which modulate coarticulatory resistance and coarticulatory aggression, respectively), and the direction of coarticulation, while results with respect to the factor of the density of the (phonological or phonetic) vowel space of a given language, for instance, seem to be contradictory. Theoretically, however, contextual variation of vocalic segments may just as well be detected using the distribution of the values of some acoustics and/or articulatory parameter emerging across-contexts, that is, standard deviation, which is also commonly used in visualizing vowel distribution in the two-dimensional (acoustic, and in some cases, articulatory) vowel space. In my talk I present a series of studies where this second type of variance measure, across-context variability, or as we refer to it, the dispersion measure was explored and compared to the distance measure in Hungarian. In these studies, we tested if dispersion is also modulated by the prosodic prominence of the target and the trigger vowels, and by the direction of coarticulation. We obtained simple acoustic and articulatory measures of /i/ and /u/ realisations, and analysed them in a parallel manner. Our findings suggest that across-context variability (i.e., dispersion) captures a different aspect of coarticulatory variation that the distance measure, while diverging results emerging in the analysis of the two measures poses the question which of the two is a sufficient measure to capture the features of coarticulatory resistance and coarticulatory aggression reliably.

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