The study of the spatio-temporal interactions between contiguous segments in speech is a means for a better understanding of how segments are serially organized. Thisresearch explores the relation between a vowel and the following consonant by studying the anticipatory C-to-V coarticulatory effects by means of electropalatography. The materials were ‘VCV utterances produced in isolation and in connected speech by three Italian speakers, with /a/ and /i/ as vowels and the coronals /t, d, l, z, ∫/ as intervocalic consonants. The results show that the consonants affect both the vocal tract configuration of the preceding vowel and its acoustic duration. The spatial effects increase from laterals to stops to fricatives. The tongue body position is raised during /a/ and lowered during /i/. The effects are much larger for /a/ than for /i/ and larger in connected speech than in isolated words. As for temporal coarticulatory effects, the data indicate that vowels tend to be shorter before /∫/ than before /z/, and shorter before /t/ than before /d/ than before /l/. Spatial and temporal measurements of change in tongue body contact from vowel to the consonantal closure/constriction suggest that the consonants differ among each other in the dynamics as well as in the timing of their gestures, with ampler/longer movements (e.g., for /∫/) starting earlier than smaller/shorter movements (e.g., for /d/ or /l/). These patterns result in smaller differences between the durations of the total VC sequences than between the individual durations of V or C segments, and suggest that intersegmental organization between vowels and following consonants may have the rhythmic function of reducing the variability of vowel-to-vowel temporal intervals. © 1993, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.
- tongue articulation