6. The phonetic realisation of RS and WM geminates in SieneseItalian: the impact of preaspiration 203
203 6. The phonetic realisation of RS and WM geminates in Sienese Italian: the impact of preaspiration 6.1. Introduction: the discovery of preaspiration in Sienese Italian A crucial aspect of any phonetic investigation into RS is of course the distinction between long consonants, i.e. +RS, and short consonants, i.e. –RS, and how this distinction is signalled in both acoustic and perceptual terms. Specific to voiceless stops, the focus of the present acoustic investigation, a review of the relevant experimental literature on (Standard) Italian (e.g. Carminati 1984; Esposito & Di Benedetto 1999; Campos-Astorkiza 2004; Payne 2000, 2005) would suggest the application of RS always involves a straightforward increase in the duration of the supralaryngeal closure portion. However, the mismatch between the auditory perception of RS and the acoustic duration values seen in the preceding two chapters, suggests that manner of articulation, not yet addressed, may also play a role. Manner of articulation of geminate /p: t: k:/ in Tuscan varieties has never been the focus of attention in an acoustic phonetic study. Only the manner of articulation of singleton /p t k/ is assumed to vary, due to GT, and has thus attracted some detailed acoustic analysis (e.g. Marotta 2004; Sorianello 2003; Dalcher 2008). However, as already noted, geminate voiceless stops are frequently preaspirated in the present corpus of spontaneous speech i.e. /p: t: k:/ > [hp ht hk]. In addition, a handful of geminate /p: t: k:/ tokens are realised as fricatives and incomplete stops, that is, without any...
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