Secondary Phonetic Cues in the Production of the Nasal Short-a System in California English

Georgia Zellou, Rebecca Scarborough, Renee Kemp


A production study explored the acoustic characteristics of /æ/ in CVC and CVN words spoken by California speakers who raise /æ/ in pre-nasal contexts. Results reveal that the phonetic realization of the /æ/-/ε/ contrast in these contexts is multidimensional. Raised pre-nasal /æ/ is close in formant space to /ε/, particularly over the second half of the vowel. Yet, systematic differences in the realization of the secondary acoustic features of duration, formant movement, and degree of coarticulatory vowel nasalization keep these vowels phonetically distinct. These findings have implications for systems of vowel contrast and the use of secondary phonetic properties to maintain lexical distinctions.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-1322

Cite as: Zellou, G., Scarborough, R., Kemp, R. (2020) Secondary Phonetic Cues in the Production of the Nasal Short-a System in California English. Proc. Interspeech 2020, 631-635, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-1322.


@inproceedings{Zellou2020,
  author={Georgia Zellou and Rebecca Scarborough and Renee Kemp},
  title={{Secondary Phonetic Cues in the Production of the Nasal Short-a System in California English}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2020},
  pages={631--635},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2020-1322},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2020-1322}
}