This paper is an electropalatographic and acoustic investigation of consonant reduction as a function of syllable position in several heterosyllabic consonant clusters of Catalan within the framework of the degree of articulatory constraint (DAC) model of coarticulation. Three contact indices, i.e., alveolar contact anteriority and centrality and dorsopalatal contact quotient, are used for the computation of the linguopalatal contact characteristics for alveolar, alveolopalatal and velar consonants, with care taken to differentiate contextual effects from effects associated with syllable position. Results show that relatively unconstrained stops, nasals and laterals are produced with less front lingual contact and less dorsopalatal contact in syllable final vs. syllable initial position while this is not so for highly constrained fricatives and rhotics. A trend for the palatal fricative vs. the alveolar fricative to exhibit a wider constriction syllable finally vs. syllable initially is also attributed to stricter demands on constriction formation for the latter fricative vs. the former. Overall, these findings are in agreement with the notion that articulatory reduction in syllable final position is conditioned by constraints on consonantal production. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.