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WPP, No. 109: The benefits of vowel laryngealization on the perception of coda stops in English

  • Author(s): Garellek, Marc
  • et al.
Abstract

It has been previously noted that voiceless coda stops in English may undergo optional glottalization, i.e. they are produced with simultaneous glottal closure. The glottal closure usually produces laryngeal coarticulation on the previous vowel in the form of laryngealization (creaky voice). In this paper, the effects of vowel laryngealization on coda stop perception were investigated. Eighteen native speakers of English participated in a phoneme monitoring task where they were asked to monitor for /t/. The target stimuli were English monosyllabic words ending in a coda /t/, e.g. ‘beat.’ The stimuli differed according to two conditions: whether vowel was either modal or laryngealized, and whether the coda /t/ was either released or unreleased. The results show that presence of laryngealization resulted in faster and more accurate monitoring of /t/ in codas. Further analysis of the filler stimuli suggests that the perceptual advantage of laryngealization is a result of listeners’ linguistic experience with glottalization and because laryngealization is useful for retrieving formant transition cues.

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