13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Portland, OR, USA
September 9-13, 2012

Lenition of /d/ in Spontaneous Spanish and Catalan

Miquel Simonet (1), José I. Hualde (2), Marianna Nadeu (2)

(1) Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
(2) Dept. of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA

The alternation between voiced plosives and spirants in Iberian languages is described as the complementary distribution between two allophones. The present study explores the acoustics of /d/ in two corpora of spontaneous speech and examines the hypothesis that constriction degree in /d/ is governed by finer-grained speech production factors than claimed before. Three acoustic metrics were developed as indexes of articulatory weakening. The findings suggest that variations in the implementation of /d/ result from gradient modulations in constriction degree on a unimodal, rather than bimodal, statistical-acoustic distribution. The preceding segment is a strong predictor of the weakening (i.e., spirantization) of Catalan and Spanish /d/.

Index Terms: Spanish, Catalan, lenition, phonetics, phonology.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Simonet, Miquel / Hualde, José I. / Nadeu, Marianna (2012): "Lenition of /d/ in spontaneous Spanish and Catalan", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 1416-1419.