SRPP: Real-time Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Phonetic Research: Current Studies

The presentation will illustrate the use of real-time MRI to analyse the articulatory manoeuvres of speech organs that have hitherto generally been restricted to studies with very few speakers, namely velum movement and vertical larynx movement. The analyses are taken from a large corpus of German data for over 30 speakers. In addition, we will emphasize the flexibility of RT-MRI to extend consideration to additional articulators where required.
The overall aim of the analysis of velum kinematics is to improve our understanding of the phonetic forces that can lead diachronically to contrastive vowel nasalization. Specifically, we will look firstly at quite subtle temporal phenomena, namely differences in anticipatory nasal coarticulation related to voicing of the post-nasal consonant in VNC sequences. Secondly, we will consider spatial effects related to the influence of different vowel categories on the amount of velum opening in both nasal and non-nasal consonantal contexts.
The second part of the talk will consider larynx height in vowel production. We exploit the properties of the German vowel system in an attempt to give a more balanced picture of whether larynx height is more closely related to vowel height or rounding. Previous results in the literature are quite messy (particularly for vowel height) which in turn is related to the pervasive, but for larynx height particularly pronounced problem of inter-speaker variability. We look briefly at whether the amount of vowel-specific modulation of larynx height can be related to speaker anatomy and speaker preferences for lip protrusion.

Carignan, C., Coretta, S., Frahm, J., Harrington, J., Hoole, P., Joseph, A., Kunay, E., Voit, D. (2021). Planting the Seed for Sound Change: Evidence from Real-Time MRI of Velum Kinematics in German. Language 97(2), 333-364
Hoole, P., Coretta, S., Carignan, C., Kunay, E., Joseph, A., Voit, D., Frahm, J (2020) Control of larynx height in vowel production revisited: A real-time MRI study. International Seminar on Speech Production,
Kunay, E. (2021): Vowel nasalization in German: a real-time MRI study. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty for Languages and Literatures. DOI: 10.5282/edoc.29340. URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:19-293408