Phonetic typology and positional allophones for alveolar rhotics in catalan

D. Recasens, A. Espinosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The present study reports electropalatographic and acoustic data on the positional and contextual characteristics of alveolar taps and trills in Majorcan, Valencian and Eastern Catalan. The two consonant classes are invariably opposed by degree of tongue dorsum contact and F2, but only differentiated by place of articulation when constriction location for the trill is sufficiently retracted. Trills are produced with less than three contacts and may exhibit a single contact in utterance-initial position and, less often, in /Cr, VrV/ sequences. Word-final and, to a lesser extent, preconsonantal rhotics are implemented as taps in Majorcan and Valencian, and strengthened into trills in Eastern Catalan. Moreover, there appears to be an inverse relationship between initial strengthening, and intervocalic weakening and the absence of syllable-final strengthening, for Valencian rhotics, which could be indicative of a pattern of intersegmental organization. Shortening and articulatory reduction turned out not to be necessarily related for extremely short Valencian taps, which undergo much undershoot intervocalically but are highly constricted in /Cr, rC/ sequences. Other research aspects such as devoicing and intergestural timing for Catalan alveolar rhotics are also investigated. Copyright © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007


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