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Phonology, its Faces and Interfaces


Edited By Jolanta Szpyra-Kozłowska and Eugeniusz Cyran

The papers collected in this volume examine selected aspects of the interaction of phonology with phonetics, morphosyntax and the lexicon in a variety of languages including Korean, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, British English, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Dutch and Hawaiian. In order to approach the role and ways of expressing extraphonological information in phonology, the international contributors adopt different methods of analysis (data gathering, experiments, theoretical discussions), couched in various theoretical frameworks (such as Optimality Theory and Government Phonology), which reveal both the multifarious faces and interfaces of modern phonological research.

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Phonological symmetry, phonetic asymmetry, and the acoustic consequences of voicing in Russian (Mayuki Matsui)


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Mayuki Matsui

Phonological symmetry, phonetic asymmetry, and the acoustic consequences of voicing in Russian

In Russian phonology, stops and fricatives exhibit symmetrical voicing behavior. In contrast, the phonetic aerodynamic constraints that involve voicing in stops and fricatives are highly asymmetric, predicting that stops and fricatives would be different in terms of the phonetic implementation of voicing. The current study examines how the voicing contrast is in fact implemented in stops and fricatives in Russian, with a special focus on the duration of voicing, the duration of constriction, and their relationship.

    Speech materials comprised 30 minimal pairs of word-medial intervocalic voiced and voiceless obstruents elicited from eight native speakers of Russian. The results demonstrated both similarities and differences between stops and fricatives. Underlying voicing was distinguished by the duration of voicing and the duration of constriction for both stops and fricatives, thus showing symmetry. In contrast, voiced fricatives, particularly voiced sibilant fricatives, were more likely to be partially devoiced than were voiced stops, thus showing an asymmetry. Such variation in voiced fricatives was predictable from the aerodynamic constraints in them. Therefore, the results suggest, in general, that while phonological symmetry between stops and fricatives is indeed reflected in durational properties, their variations reflect phonetic asymmetry.

1.  Introduction1

Russian obstruents, including both stops and fricatives, have a voicing contrast. Russian stops and fricatives behave highly symmetrically in the phonological voicing processes, for instance, in voicing agreement in obstruent...

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