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Temporal correlates of the voicing contrast in Russian

Barry, Susan Mary Edith; (2003) Temporal correlates of the voicing contrast in Russian. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This project examines the production and perception of the contrast between voiced and voiceless consonants in Russian. The detailed examination of speaker and listener behaviour in Russian extends knowledge of cross-linguistic variation possible in the temporal realisation of the contrast. A series of production measurements and perception experiments is described using as subjects native speakers resident in Moscow. An acoustic and electrolaryngographic investigation of the temporal structure of intervocalic obstruents shows, firstly, that there is inter-speaker and intra-speaker variation in the duration and mode of vocal fold vibration during [+voice] obstruents, and, secondly, that Russian demonstrates the cross-linguistically frequent correlation between the [+/−voice] value of the obstruent and the temporal structure of the vowel and consonant sequence: vowels are longer before [+voice] obstruents and the obstruent itself is shorter than [-voice] counterparts. Investigation of the neutralisation of the contrast in word-final position shows that, contrary to evidence in some other languages, the contrast between underlying [+voice] and [−voice] is not consistently maintained by any of the three temporal intervals examined: duration of the consonant, of the preceding vowel or of consonantal voicing. There is therefore little evidence that the parameters of consonant and vowel duration behave independently of vocal fold vibration in word-final position in Russian. A series of experiments using edited speech investigated the perceptual value of the temporal differences found in production between intervocalic [+voice] and [−voice] obstruents. The presence of closure voicing throughout the closure was found to be a cue which overrode all others. When the voicing cue was ambiguous, consonant and vowel duration functioned as secondary cues. These results support a model where the temporal intervals are correlated with laryngeal behaviour and are examples of cross-linguistic universals rather than of language-specific implementation rules.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Temporal correlates of the voicing contrast in Russian
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics; Russian; Voicing contrast
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10101458
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