Underlying voicing in Majorcan Catalan word-final stop-liquid clusters

Daniel Recasens, Aina Espinosa, Antoni Solanas

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Abstract

This study investigates the extent to which phonetic voicing is maintained in word-final clusters composed of an underlying voiced stop followed by nonsyllabic /l/ or /r/ in Majorcan Catalan. Electropalatographic and acoustic data for five speakers of this Catalan dialect reveal that, in agreement with the non-syllabic status of the liquid, voicing for /l/ is only available if occurring during the preceding stop. The rhotic is always phonetically voiceless. Speakers differ regarding the extent to which they keep the underlying stop voicing distinction and the production strategies they use for that purpose. This distinction is highly robust and distributed over the entire syllable in nasal-stop-/l/ clusters for some speakers, but much less clear or absent for those speakers who devoice /l/ as a general rule. Underlying stop voicing is cued primarily by stop closure duration and vocal fold vibration, or else by closure duration rather than by voicing. It may be concluded that the word-final devoicing process operating in Catalan does not apply to Majorcan Catalan tautosyllabic stop clusters with a liquid, and that phonetic voicing may affect just the stop or both the stop and the liquid. The implications of these findings for sound change are discussed. Copyright © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-118
JournalPhonetica
Volume61
Issue number2-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004

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